Oliver 14 0 0 4 min to read

DA company continues to oppose onion importation despite prices exceeding P500.

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Even if onion prices have risen to PHP520, the Department of Agriculture (DA) insisted Tuesday that it will not import the crop as harvest season approaches.

Rex Estoperez, a deputy spokesperson for the DA, stated during a Laging Handa public briefing that the department is careful when approving import licenses, especially for onions.

“In the off-season, I can accept smugglers. As soon as your import permit is issued, that is what will happen. We don’t want to accept smuggling, thus we say “ilalabas nila iyong smuggled items.” They will exist if we get an import permission. They’ll bring out their contraband, he predicted.

Estoperez gave consumers the assurance that costs would normalize starting in January as a result of an increase in the availability of locally produced onions throughout the harvest.

But he claimed that in order to enhance output and make reasonable rates available to consumers, the DA needed to make changes to the value chain.

“We need to improve this, because if we do not improve, including our resilience to climate change, we will not be able to solve it, and this will continue to happen,” he continued.

These, according to him, include logistics, transportation, cold storage, and packaging, as well as a vigorous campaign against the smuggling of agricultural products.

soaring costs

Estoperez, on the other hand, made it clear that the PHP170 price cap for onions is only a guide because many marketplaces currently sell onions for more than three times the cap.

‘Yan, guide lang po. The law of supply and demand is what determines the price, in this case. The price is controlled by supply and demand; if your supply is low coming from production, your price will rise, he added. “That’s merely a guide, the price is determined by supply and demand,” he said.

The DA further stated that they had visited the onion-producing regions in Tarlac and Nueva Ecija in addition to keeping an eye on market prices.

The supply is Mayroon. Although it isn’t very expensive, the price at the farm gate is already PHP300. We have supplies, but not enough; at their farm gate price, we noticed it was already PHP300; if an agent will purchase it and deliver it to Metro Manila, there will undoubtedly be a markup, he said.

According to Estoperez, little onions can be purchased for PHP480 per kilogram and medium-sized onions for PHP520 per kilogram.

The Kadiwa ng Pasko and the DA’s Kadiwa sites continue to sell onions for a substantially cheaper price of PHP170 per kilo.

Kadiwa locations resumed operations on Tuesday after a brief holiday celebration hiatus.

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