Solon wants lapu-lapu fish to be called pugapo

THE next time you will eat the Lapu-Lapu fish,it could probably changed its name.

This if the proposal of Cebu Rep. Paz Radaza of renaming the Lapu-Lapu fish is enacted into law.

According to Radaza it is disrespectful of Philippine’s first hero if his name will be used to a fish specie.

While Filipinos value Lapu-Lapu’s heroism,  Radaza  said it is ironic that his name is also used to call a fish with the scientific name of Plectropomus leopardus.

To correct this, Radaza filed House Bill 2223 or “An Act Rectifying the Dishonorable Use of a Great Filipino Name Lapu-Lapu to a Fish Species ‘Plectropomus leopardus.”

“The bill aims to rectify, correct and give justice to the honorable name of Lapu-Lapu as a hero,” Radaza said.

For Plectropomus leopardus to be known, named and promoted as a delicious delicacy, Radaza said Filipinos should be encouraged to call it “Pugapo” instead of lapu-lapu.

“It is inappropriate, a defilement, and a violation, even if the fish could be the most sought-after, not only in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia,” Radaza said.

In yesteryears, Radaza said the fish Plectropomus leopardus was known in the regions of the Visayas and Mindanao as “Pugapo.”  

“But nowadays, it is alarming that more and more Filipinos prefer to call it lapu-lapu, a disrespect to a patriotic Filipino forebear,” she said.

The bill declares that Lapu-Lapu who resisted and defeated the Spaniards in the Battle of Mactan, should always be accorded and honored befitting of a patriot, a great ruler and a hero.

The bill further declares that as it is a defilement that his name is being used to call a fish,Plectropomus leopardus. Calling the species as Lapu-Lapu or Lapulapu shall be prohibited. The species shall instead be called and restored to its original name Pugapo, the bill provides.

The bill mandates the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), together with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), to take the lead role in the implementation of the Act.

Likewise, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) shall prepare advertisements and information campaign on the Act until full compliance is attained.  

Local government units shall also help implement the Act  by passing local ordinances and disseminating information within their areas of jurisdiction that “Pugapo” should not be called Lapu-Lapu.