City of Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte

I.   Introduction

A.     Overview

At present, there are more than 70 different kinds of bottled fish products being produced by at least 13 sardines processing enterprises in Dipolog City. These products are categorized into:

Herring Sardines, Bangus Sardines, Bagoong
Dayok, Dried Herring, Pure Oyap, Anchovies
Salted Shrimp Fry, Chunks, Gourmet Tuyo

                       Andres-Andres, etc.

B.    Current status of the industry
1.    At least 3 companies are exporting their products (selected) to the USA    thru their consolidators based in Manila
2.       One company is already a HACCP compliant
           a.   De Mari Food Products
   3.   Four companies are currently complying HACCP requirement
a.       Mendoza Industries
b.      Tito Mike’s Food Company
c.       Alenter Foods Corporation
d.      Zaragoza Foods Corporation
    4.   In January 2003, the DOST released the amount of P 130,000.00 to the Inglass Sardines of Dipolog Association (ISDA) as a Grant-in-Aid for the Expansion and acquisition of two (2) units of Glass Jar Sealer as a common Service facility
5.  In April 2004, the provincial government of Zamboanga del Norte released P500,000 as a soft loan to the ISDA.  This amount was part of the province’s 1 Bayan, 1 Produkto, 1 Milyong Piso Program.

               Profile of the bottled fish products industry association:
    Name: Inglass Sardines of Dipolog Association (ISDA                 *    Organized :  November 27, 2001
Registered with SEC: February 8, 2002
*    Total member enterprises: 13
  Combined asset size of member enterprise: P 56.60 million
       Generally, the following can be said on the status of the industry:

 * With regards to production – technology is properly adopted, skills are developed, high quality standards are maintained.

 *   With regards to market – continuously expanding in both domestic and export markets

                        *   With regards to enterprise development – enterprises are
                             continuously graduating into medium category with
                             regards to asset size


II. Executive Summary

A.     Area covered

The bottled fish products industry of Dipolog covers five coastal barangays (Sicayab, Barra, Miputak, Galas and Olingan) serving as suppliers of raw fish materials.  The processing firms are spread in barangays Sicayab, Minaog, Turno, Estaka, Central Barangay, Galas and Olingan. 

B.    Firms / enterprises involved

The following are the existing producers in Dipolog City:
1.       Montaño  Foods Corporation
2.       Mendoza Industries
       Zaragoza Foods Corporation
4.       Dipolog School of Fisheries
5.       Etch Kiu Food Products
6.       Dipolog Bueno Food Processing, Inc.
7.       Tito Mike’s Food Company, Inc.
8.       Baytion Food Enterprises
9.       Northwest Food Products
10.   Dipolog City Sunrise Spanish Sardines MP Cooperative
                  (New / not operational)
             11. Tabuk-Barra Fishermen Integrated Multi-Purpose Coop
                    (Temporarily stopped)
             12. Tangkay Sardines
             13. Dipolog Seaside Women Association / NamNam Sardines

Two producers, namely, the Roxas Catholic Charismatic Multipurpose Cooperative (municipality of Roxas) and Alenter Foods Corporation (municipality of Katipunan) have processing plants located in nearby municipalities but their principal offices are in Dipolog City.

The Philippine Marketing Corporation (PHILMACO) – Dipolog Branch serves as a marketing arm to at least 2 of the above-mentioned producers for domestic markets other than Dipolog City.  In Dipolog City, at least 5 grocery establishments serve as retail outlets.

On the supply side, many fisher folks along the coastal areas serve as suppliers of fish, while vegetable farmers in nearby municipalities (Polanco and Sergio Osmeña) supply the other materials like carrots, pickles, chili, etc.

C.    Current employment capacity of the industry
     Direct employment = 290

D.    Level of income of production 

Income of production is affected with the supply of fish. The peak season of fish is from February to May or June.  Producers take advantage of this season when the fish can be purchased at minimal prices.  After these months, supply is available only in meager or small quantity. During this time, other supply of fish will come in from other neighboring municipalities like Sindangan and Jose Dalman and cities like Zamboanga and Pagadian

E.     Value and volume of production

Estimated volume of production per year  -     50,000 boxes
Estimated value                                        -     P 5,000,000

III.  Scope and Limitation

Company audits are conducted yearly to assess the real situation of the companies. Company audits include the following scope:

a.   determination of interventions from agencies concerned
b.  determination of issues and concerns ( which need
      legislation by local Sanggunians)
c.   giving recommendations on the operations re: production
      (costing and technical innovations), marketing , management and financing
d.   ocular / plant visit  and  give actual comments 

 IV.  Structure of the Industry

A.     Product coverage

            Herring Sardines, Bangus Sardines, Bagoong Dayok,
                        Dried Herring, Pure Oyap, Anchovies Salted Shrimp
                        fry,  Chunks,  Gourmet Tuyo 
Andres-andres ( all
                         packed in an 8 oz glass jar)

B.    Geographical dispersion

Local market:     Manila, Cebu, Davao and other cities
            Export          :     USA, Los Angeles,
New York, Canada and
 and other Asian Countries

C.    Market performance – export and domestic sales; major channels of distribution.  

              Sales Performance of the Industry




Year 2000

Year 2001

Year 2002

Year 2003

Year 2004







Domestic Sales

 P 28,051,840.00

P 25,174,447.00


P 48,803,117








   Export Sales




    P 6,941,408


D.    Resource assessment – raw materials, technology in use, labor supply

Sources and Price of Raw Materials




Local fisher folks

Corn Oil

ISDA, RIVSON -Local distributor


Local public market.


RIVSON -Local distributor

Bay leaves

- do -

Chili pepper

Local public  market


Local distributor

Tomato sauce

Extract Sales -Local distributor

Pickled cucumber

Extract Sales -Local distributor

Glass Jars

ISDA, Friendly Mart -Local

ABB /  ( SMC thru Local Dist. )


ISDA, Friendly Mart

Plastic Seal

Manila distributor

          The work flow in the production of Spanish style Sardines

          involve the following steps or the technology being used:

·        Procurement of fish from source (local fisher folks). The freshly caught fish is iced at source to prolong freshness;

·        Fish is brought to the processing area (wet area) where it is cleaned.  More ice is utilized;

·        Head-cutting and removal of entrails follow;

·        Fish is now ready for brining;

·        After the prescribed brining time has elapsed, fish is washed and arranged for drying on screens;

·        Sun drying follows. On cloudy/rainy days, fish are dried in a mechanical dryer;

·        Dried fish is ready for frying;

·        Fried fish is brought to the packing area (dry area);

·        Fish are packed in glass jars. Spices, garnishing and corn oil are added to the fish;

·        Jars are exhausted for trapped air and then capped;

·        Products are placed in autoclave / pressure cooker and cooked;

·        Finished products are taken out of the cookers, cooled and washed;

·        Finished products are dried, coded and sealed;

·        Products are labelled, placed in cartons and stored;

·        A holding period of three to four weeks is done to allow flavors to develop;

·        At the end of the holding period, random sampling is done on the batch to check for presence of microbial growth, if any

E.     Support structure

The Dipolog School of Fisheries plays a vital role of introducing and developing of technology for processors / manufacturersechnology being adopted.  The institution provides trainings and technical assistance / advice to other existing processors and new entrants.

The BFAR, DOST, BFAD, the provincial government of Zamboanga del Norte and the city government of Dipolog also provide assistance to the sector.

F.     Supply – demand situation

There is no figurative data available as to the total past and demand supply of sardines in glass jars. The only barometer where we can figure out that the demand on sardines in glass jars in the market is big, both locally and abroad, is the increasing number of processors in the province and in the region. Presently the existing processors in the city of Dipolog are fast expanding their plants and are putting up the amenities as required by BFAR and BFAD.  With the present production volume recorded it still could not meet the present quantity demanded.

G.    Major issues confronting sector
2.  HACCP requirements
3.  Continuous supply of fish
4.  High prices of raw materials
5.  BFAD requirements
6.   During peak season, glass jars could also be a
      problem since the demand  is very high.
     Other materials like corn oil and pickles will
      fluctuate irregularly due to this situation.

H.    Opportunities

*   Export potential 
  *   Established export market
*   Employment generation
*   Potential for sub-contracting
   Other emerging product lines
*   Existence of local, regional, national and
           international fairs
*   More rooms for improvement in the production areas
*   Potential for HACCP accreditation approval
*    There is still a demand in the local market 
*    Proposed establishment of an office of the Halal
        Accreditation Board in Region 9
*   Proposed establishment of Contact Freezer and Storage
*   Establishment of ZDN Quality Control laboratory at 

V.  Prospect of the Industry

For the next five years, the big companies are looking forward to be  HACCP compliant, thus penetrating the export market like the USA and Europe.

VI.  Requirements for Development

     The  Putting / Setting up of  a  Common Service Facilities for the industry

      The absence of post harvest facilities, like cold storage and contact
       freezers, the opportunity to be able to store and preserve adequate
       herring and milkfish for sustained processing all year round has been

        Contact Freezer and Cold Storage  -  In this process, the product is
        subjected to
Quick-freezing to as low as –45 deg Cen for an hour or
        two before it is removed. The blocked finished product is then stored
        to a cold storage room until such time that it is needed or probably
        when the fish season is over. 

The operation will probably run like this. The fish shall be bought by the association (ISDA) or the producers individually bring their own fish, have  them cleaned ( head and tail cut,  intestines removed) and freeze. If a producer needs fish, he will just buy from the association. The ISDA shall pay  rental to the Provincial Government at a rate to be determined later.

          Central Cooking Facility –  A  complete   cooking   facility  that  
          would   cater   to  all 
processors. Also known as retort, all products
          will be hauled and be cooked   simultaneously with the desired
           temperature. Each producer shall use identical  baskets with
           corresponding markings. This facility shall be installed at the  
           existing fish port or any strategic area.

           Dryer  - This multi-commodity solar tunnel dryer  ( M C S T D )  is a
           modified system 
fabricated using  locally available construction 
           materials.   It is designed as  
modular for easy transportation and
           installation  in
 the  processing areas.  The technology is very  much
 cheaper  in   terms   of   operational   cost   than  the mechanical
           dried goods.

Aside from economic benefits in using the solar tunnel dryer, it would be assured of efficiently and hygienically dried commodities. No more microbial contamination. Products dried are no longer exposed to flies and bacteria that are often present in direct sun drying.

This dryer is designed by the Bureau of Post harvest Research and Extension of DA, Science City of Muñus, Nueva Ecija.

            Fish Meal Plant -    Waste  materials   (  25%  of  the raw materials which is the head )  can  be  processed   into fish meal as one  of  the  components  for  the  swine  feeds.    One   viable  project that is expected to come out is the establishment  of fish meal plant.

Fishing Equipment -  There must be a fishing equipment that will be managed by the association. The purpose of this is to ensure supply of fish the whole year round.

The impact of this project will not only boost the province’s export, but also increase local employment and provide value added to the abundant resources.

Although contact freezing prior to cold storing would entail additional cost on the part of the processor, but it is the only means to have a steady supply of fish. If they intend to export bottled sardines then they have to secure the availability of the raw materials. Raw materials are traditionally seasonal. 

H A C C P  Compliance

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an organized program for ensuring the safety of food products through the identification, evaluation and control of hazards which are significant to food safety. It is currently the food’s passport  to the international market place. It is a management and inspection tool to assess hazards and establish controls that focus on prevention of food safety problems rather than relying on end-product tests.

H A L A L   Accreditation

Halal is a certification required in food products, which signifies that the hygienic and sanitary standard observed during the processing is in accordance with the Muslim requirements. A Halal mark is required to be posted on the  labels of the products. For Muslims, it is a must that they consume or use only products “halal” certified.

At present, the local producers particularly the sardines industry want to comply with  the Halal accreditation in order the penetrate the region and other Muslim countries like the Middle East.


                 Prepared by: ENGR. VICTORIANO B. MIRANDA
 Industry Cluster Point Person
                                       BDD, DTI-ZDN