Marcos: More cold storage facilities needed
MANILA — A portion of the first batch of imported onions has arrived in the Philippines and could be sold already this week, the Bureau of Plant Industry said on Tuesday.
A total of 218 metric tons of yellow onions and 370 metric tons of red onions are currently in cold storage facilities for the second border inspection, said Jose Diego Roxas, the bureau's information section officer-in-charge.
"Ini-inspect natin iyong dumating na containers at sinisiguro natin na ang nilalaman po noon ay kung ano ang idineklara. So, hindi pa ito iyong kabuuan noong 5,000 metric tons na talagang makakapasok dito," he said.
"Inaasahan natin na within this week, maaari na po nating mabili iyong mga sibuyas na pumasok dito," he added.
The rest of the first 5,000 metric tons of onions will arrive by Friday, the official said. Items that will not arrive by this time, he warned, will have to be returned to their point of origin.
"Iyong mga importers po ng mga sibuyas na hindi nakaabot, mayroon po iyong karampatang penalty ayon na rin po sa guidelines na ipinasa ukol sa importation nitong panahon," he said.
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President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. earlier approved the importation of 21,060 metric tons of yellow and red onions as prices of the commodity soared to P700 per kilogram.
Ports of entry have been limited to the Manila-South Harbor, Cebu, Davao, and Cagayan De Oro.
The DA said that 50 percent of the onion imports will go to Luzon and while Visayas and Mindanao will get 25 percent each.
COLD STORAGE FACILITIES
In a statement, Malacañang said more cold storage facilities are needed to help onion farmers cope with the supply chain.
“We need more cold storage, we need a better, stronger cold chain para ma-maintain naman natin, ma-preserve naman natin ‘yung agricultural products,” Marcos said.