MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – For decades, galunggong, or scad, has been considered a poor man’s fish in the Philippines. It was abundant and inexpensive. Alas, it is a poor man’s fish no more.
Many public markets in Metro Manila are reporting a severe shortage of galunggong. Their sources of supply have stopped delivering the fish to their stalls. As a result, low-income consumers are upset that they are not able to buy the fish to feed their families.
An investigative report from our star reporter at The Adobo Chronicles uncovered the reason for the shortage.
It appears that galunggong suppliers are delivering the fish directly to 5-star hotels and restaurants in Metro Manila and other urban centers. The demand has significantly increased among these high-class establishments because galunggong is now part of their gourmet menu (see photo).
Galunggong is especially popular among foreign tourists out to experience the Philippines’ authentic, exotic cuisine.
An order of galunggong — one fried fish garnished with some mint or other leaves and sprinkled with either a sweet or sour sauce — at these establishments commands a price as high as two thousand pesos (about US $42). Rice is extra.
Upon hearing of the news, President Rod Duterte instructed Secretary Manny Piñol of the Department of Agriculture which has jurisdiction over the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, to look into the reported shortage.
Duterte wants the resolve the problem within 24 hours.