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This month, the DA plans to import white onions.

As part of the government’s efforts to guarantee a sufficient supply in the market, orders for the importation of white onions would probably be issued within this month, the Department of Agriculture (DA) stated on Friday.

In a conversation with journalists, DA Assistant Secretary Rex Estoperez stated that although the precise amount is still being discussed with stakeholders, the initial volume will be 8,800 metric tons.

“These are approximate numbers. If we import enough goods for two months, it is 8,800 metric tons of consumption, around 4,400 metric tons [per month]. We are currently focusing on that,” he stated.

According to Estoperez, institutional buyers will receive most of the initial volume that will be imported.

According to data from DA’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance (AMAS) price monitoring, white onions are currently selling for PHP160 to PHP200 per kilogram (kg) in the National Capital Region (NCR), a significant increase from PHP90 to P150/kg recorded in April.

Estoperez stated that DA is ceasing its efforts to prevent onion prices from returning to an all-time high of PHP600 to PHP700/kg.

“We cannot risk that onion prices will rise again because they are one of the factors driving inflation. We are looking into every option to lower prices,” he said.

Estoperez stated that in addition to white onion, they are also investigating the necessity of importing red onion.

He added that to force cold storage managers to relinquish their inventories, the government will also work with them.

“We are thinking of every possible tactic to force them to sell their onion. See if they’ll collaborate, he continued.

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