A good friend from the media and one of the writers whom Bariles look up to, Allen Estabillo, filed a report today on the recently concluded 12th National Tuna Congress last weekend.

In that report (click here to read it), he wrote about the country’s immediate plan to seek lower tariffs or taxes for tuna exports to the European Union and the United States coming from Southeast Asian nations including the Philippines.  This was mentioned by former Senator Mar Roxas who subbed for Keynote Speaker President Noynoy Aquino in interviews with the media.

“We’ll continue the fight for preferential access of our tuna products, especially the canned tuna, in the EU and the US. This will be pursued as a policy of the present administration,” Roxas said.

Presently, the Philippines along with Thailand and Indonesia are being slapped a 24% tariff on their canned tuna exports to these two major markets, compared to Zero Tariff on countries in Africa, Carribean, Pacific Group of States and in the Andean countries.

According to the same report, Roxas said that this will be a major policy for the Aquino government who will lead in the negotiations to ensure that the country’s interests are protected.

The country’s tuna industry, which is mainly based in this city, accounts for at least US$ 380 million in annual export receipts and is considered among the top players in the international tuna market.

Tuna landings in this city average at 400,000 metric tons (MT) annually around 85% of which are exported to the EU, Japan, US and other top tuna markets.

The EU imports 40% or around 64,000 MT of the country’s fresh and canned tuna exports, which are mainly produced by six tuna canneries based in the city. Report from Dateline.ph.

The 12th National Tuna Congress gathered almost 300 delegates this year.  Their Trade Exhibit drew in about 60 exhibitors who rented out 102 booths at the exhibit area of the Family Country Hotel and Convention Center.

Also present during the congress were head of the EU Delegation to the Phils. Amb. Alistair Macdonald, DTI Usec Cenen Perlada, Usec Segfredo R. Serrano, former Congresswoman Lualhati R. Antonino whose appointment as the new Mindanao Development Authority Chairperson was announced by former Senator Roxas to everyone’s delight.

Congressman Jun Acharon, GenSan Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio and a host of other important players, movers and shakers of the Tuna Industry were also present to ensure the congress’ success.

"12th National Tuna Congress Chair Marfenio Tan assisted by an exuberant GenSan Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio, happily hands over a plaque of appreciation to Representative Jun Acharon of the 1st District of South Cotabato for his support for the conduct of the congress."