The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday said it is not considering the importing onions given the expected harvest in the coming months, even as current prices breached the P500 per kilo level.
DA deputy spokesperson Rex Estoperez said prices of onions have already reached up to P520 per kilogram in select markets in Metro Manila, with farmgate prices up to P300 per kilogram.
Estoperez said the DA will focus on possible interventions for the commodity, including credit for farmers, and providing them assistance in terms of logistics, transportation, cold storage, and packaging.
“Right now we are not yet considering the importation of onions,” he said.
Prices of local red onion in Metro Manila markets averaged P500 per kilogram on Tuesday, Dec. 27, while there were no stocks available for the local white onion and the imported varieties.
This is more than double the P170 per kilogram SRP set in October, which the DA said was imposed “in order not to aggravate the current difficulties of the Filipino people.”
“Prices are dictated by supply and demand, so if the supply from production is weak, the prices will increase,” he said in Filipino.
“We have supplies, but not in abundance,” he added.
Estoperez said it would be hard to dictate prices of the commodity given the high cost of production, and strictly enforcing the SRP would deter farmers from selling.
“It looks like we will have difficulties in enforcement because if we place it in our hands and dictate, no one will be selling because of the high investment,” he said.
He also noted the harvest season of onions is expected in the coming months, but there is still no estimate as to the volume due to the recent typhoons that hit the country.