General Santos City — After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries Inc. (SFFAII) successfully opened the 22nd National Tuna Congress and Trade Exhibit with the theme “Philippine Tuna Industry: Braving the Rough Seas Toward a Better Tomorrow” at SM Trade Halls, General Santos City. 

DTI Assistant Secretary Dominic Tolentino, Jr. delivered the keynote address during the opening of the Trade Exhibit wherein he acknowledged the importance of the congress to discuss the most crucial issues and technological development surrounding the Tuna Industry as well as the effects of the pandemic in Asia which resulted in extreme poverty for many. With this year’s theme being a hopeful declaration of the fishing industry to keep on striving for a better future despite the challenging post-effects of the pandemic for the past two years, Asec. Tolentino hopes to strengthen and speed up the recovery of the industry.

The trade exhibit features about 60 exhibitors occupying a total of 120 booths with exhibits of the latest technology, equipment, packaging materials, and other support facilities available to the tuna fishing industry while the Tuna Congress will be conducting a plenary discussion on topics such as the status of the Tuna Fishery and Allied Sectors Amidst the Pandemic, Philippine Tuna Export Opportunities and Constraints, and many more.

A special showcase was also mounted for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of Region 12 to promote their local products and services through the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Pavillion, Tech Exhibit, and Café Dose featuring the prime coffee products of the region.

During the closing ceremony, the Congress will present to the plenary and turnover to partner government representatives the Resolutions involving the tuna fishing industry such as the request to the Philippine government to expedite the bilateral agreements anchored on fisheries cooperation with other coastal nations to maximize the Philippines’ GSP+ qualification benefits, the upgrading of the capabilities of the PhilExport 12 Quality Control Laboratory, and the proposals on the upgrading of services of the port of General Santos among others.

Asec. Tolentino being the legislative representative of DTI Regional Operations Group for senate and congress on trade and industry economic agenda said that he will help in lobbying for the extension and/or renewal of the Free Trade Agreements, and will support the pertinent resolutions from the 22nd National Tuna Congress.

The Tuna Congress and Trade Exhibit will run until 2 September 2022.

Date of Release: 2 September 2022