A top fishing operator denied any existence of a fishing cartel as alleged during last week’s commitee meeting on fish prices at the provincial board.
Elmer Chavez, owner of Elzon Fishing and president of the Bohol Ring Netters Association based at the causeway in Tagbilaran, said there is no cartel and is not involved in alleged cartel manipulating fish prices in the province.
It was alleged that a cartel is operating in the province and may have a hand in manipulating the fish prices.
Consumers have raised the concern over fish prices especially of ordinary fish varieties being too expensive in comparison with the price of fish products in other provinces.
The insinuation of a cartel was further exacerbated after Cooperative Development Authority administrator Benjie Oliva made an insinuation that there is allegedly a cartel operating that may be impacting the price of fish products being sold in local markets.
Chavez faced the committee and was emotional during his time to speak, lamenting his continued link to the alleged cartel.
He was elated to be given an opportunity to clear his name in front of the public through the committee hearing after being tagged in the issue.
Chavez denied they are not intruding into other suppliers in an attempt to control the fish prices, which is a move to cartel and manipulate the prices.
He said the private ice plant is for the sole use of the fish products his firm and group are selling.
At the same time, he also said the fish being caught in Bohol is being sold here. He even said additional supply is being sourced out from other places in case the supply is down.
Earlier, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Bohol head Leo Bongalos denied any cartel operating in the local fishing industry causing the alleged manipulation of fish products’ prices.