MANILA - The Philippine government is working towards increasing the production of onions in the country, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said, as consumers deal with soaring prices.
Marcos, who is currently the agriculture chief, said the move is their response because it is a "demand and supply situation."
"What we've done is we have increased the supply. It's very, very simple," he said in a taped interview with Bloomberg in Davos, Switzerland.
"The long term, the long term solution, of course, will be to increase production. And that's what we are working on. So these are, these are measures that we are doing, these interventions are, I think, until we get in place, the systems that will start to get our production levels up," he added.
The Department of Agriculture has approved the importation of 21,060 metric tons of red and yellow onions to pull down its prices in wet markets, which still hover around P400 to P550 per kilo.
Onion harvests could peak between mid-February and May, DA Deputy Spokesperson Rex Estoperez said. The imports should arrive by Jan. 27 or until the first week of February, and is lower than the 22,000 initially recommended.
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This will be calibrated, the agency had said. But for Marcos, onion importation, like sugar, will depend on the production rate.
"It's very simple analysis, you look at our production rate, and how many how much we produce and how much is the demand. And there's no way you have to import," he said.
An agriculture official earlier said the farmgate price of onions has gone down to P250 per kilo.
In December, onion prices rose to as high as P700 per kilo.