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Amid soaring onion prices, the DA is considering regulated importation.

In response to a recent rise in onion prices, the Department of Agriculture (DA) stated on Tuesday that it might consider “regulated” importation.

DA Deputy Spokesperson Rex Estoperez stated in a media interview that the import volume for red and white onions might be 22,000 metric tons, equivalent to a month’s worth of use.

“Other options we’ve thought about include whether to import. If the price stays this high, we might import. Kung ganoon patuloy ‘yung presyo. but in a controlled or deliberate manner,” he stated.

According to the DA’s most recent price monitoring, the going rate for local red onions in Metro Manila is between PHP160 and PHP200 per kilogram, while the going rate for local white onions is between PHP150 and PHP200 per kilogram.

Estoperez observed that as the nation moved closer to the off-season, the farmgate price of onions was now PHP120 per kg.

However, he stressed that in light of complaints of price manipulation by dishonest traders, the DA sought to strengthen its coordination with the local government units (LGUs).

In a previous call to action, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) reminded traders that they had originally purchased the “overpriced” onions at a farm gate price of only about PHP60 per kg.

Estoperez added that the department is still discussing immediate and long-term fixes with lawmakers.

Because [some] lawmakers in the house have brought up the issue, he added, “We’re also asking to strengthen [the ways] on how to do the anti-smuggling through [our anti-price manipulation] or [through] the Price Act.”

According to the DA, the nation still has 117,000 metric tons of onions in cold storage, enough to endure for several months.

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