22,000 MT of Imported Onions Approved for Arrival in PH, Aiming to Lower Prices
22,000 MT of Imported Onions Approved for Arrival in PH, Aiming to Lower Prices

Merakyat.org – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is finalizing a plan to import 22,000 metric tons of onions in an effort to lower the high retail prices of the agricultural commodity. The plan, which is currently being reviewed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., would see the imported onions arriving in the country between the last week of January and the first week of February.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Rex Estoperez stated that the mechanics of importation are still being finalized and that the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) will be responsible for completing the details. He also emphasized that importation is only a short-term solution and that the DA is actively working on finding more sustainable long-term solutions.

Based on the DA’s price monitoring, local red onions currently retail in Metro Manila at prices between P480 and P600 per kilo, significantly higher than the P160 to P220 recorded on January 10th last year. White onions are also selling for higher prices, between P450 to P600 per kilo.

The DA did not renew the suggested retail price for onions, P250 per kilo, in Metro Manila’s wet markets that expired on January 7th. In October of last year, the DA imposed a price ceiling of P170 per kilo on onions due to its rising retail prices. However, it is unclear if the DA will impose another price cap on imported onions.

In a hearing of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform, Senator Cynthia Villar announced that they would investigate a cartel that has reportedly been controlling the supply and price of onions. The senator also criticized DA officials for tolerating unabated meat importation despite enough local supply.