PBBM admin’s ‘calibrated’ importation of onions to protect farmers, consumers

The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will implement a calibrated importation of onions in a bid to safeguard farmers during the harvest season.

“Pagdating naman po doon sa mini-mention ninyo tungkol sa importation, iyong harvest po na ini-expect natin sa ating magsasaka, iyan po ay taken into consideration by both the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) on the high-value crop… it’s a bureau, and our unit [is] in charge of that certain commodity,” Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista told the press in a briefing on Saturday.

“So a calibrated importation was something they had to look into… As of now, we are waiting for reports kung ilan po ang nag-apply and at the same time I don’t know if you noticed, mayroon pong cutoff iyong ating importation unlike before,” the DA official said, adding that these are the parameters that the BPI has put in place to be able to safeguard the harvest of farmers.

During the briefing, Evangelista noted that the farmgate price of onions has already gone down to P250 per kilo.

In December, onion prices spiked to as high as P450 to P460.

“But this is something that we have to validate because it might just be in one area, but so far, from the reports I am receiving from the farmers themselves, and even some institutional buyers, there has been already a decline pagdating po sa farmgate price,” Evangelista said.

On the other hand, the retail prices of onions, based on DA’s daily monitoring of 13 markets in Metro Manila stood at P400 to P550.

“Mataas pa rin po iyan considering the cost structure of the onions, this is the production cost because we also talk to our farmers to find out how much it costs to produce onions,” she said.

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