DA sets SRP of imported red onion at P125 per kilo in Metro Manila
MANILA, Philippines — Taking off from the instructions of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to gather all stakeholders and address the issue of overpriced red onions in the market, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has issued a suggested retail price (SRP) of P125 per kilogram of medium- and big-sized imported red onion in wet markets within the National Capital Region (NCR).
“[I]n order not to aggravate the current difficulties of the Filipino people affected by the pandemic and rising fuel prices, there is a need to guide the consuming public on the reasonable prices of basic necessities in the market,” DA Administrative Circular No. 5, dated February 6, 2023, read.
The SRP shall take effect immediately after its publication and remain in effect for 60 days from its approval unless revised, revoked and/or lifted.
The retail price of onions skyrocketed to P600 per kilogram in the last week of December 2022, causing the DA to issue sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance (SPSIC) for the importation of onions to augment local supply.
The DA’s regular monitoring of basic necessities and prime commodities provided basis to set the SRP.
Republic Act (RA) No. 7581 or the Price Act declares that the State shall ensure “the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices at all times without denying legitimate business a fair return on investment.”
It further states that it is the “policy of the State to provide effective and sufficient protection to consumers against hoarding, profiteering and cartels with respect to the supply, distribution, marketing and pricing of said goods, especially during periods of calamity, emergency, widespread illegal price manipulation and other similar situations.”
The implementing rules and regulations of RA No. 7581 empowers and directs the DA to issue an SRP for any or all basic necessities and prime commodities under its jurisdiction to guide producers, retailers, and consumers.
“In order not to aggravate the current difficulties of the Filipino people affected by the pandemic and rising fuel prices, there is a need to guide the consuming public on the reasonable prices of basic necessities in the market,” said the circular.
This comes in light of weeks of high onion prices, with the bulbs reaching up to P700 per kilogram during the holiday season.
READ: Inexplicable price hikes, supply confusion: After onion, garlic may be next
“The SRP shall take effect immediately after its publication and remain in effect for 60 days from its approval unless revised, revoked and/or lifted,” said the DA.
DA deputy spokesperson Rex Estoperez stated on Monday that they have already been eyeing the said SRP following the arrival of imported onions and the peak of the onion harvest season in the country.
However, Estoperez has said that the SRP may not be followed.
“Opo, P125, ang problema po namin ngayon, may P125 tayo na SRP — yan ba ay susundin naman?”
(Yes, it’s at P125, but our problem is, while we impose a P125 SRP, would the market comply?)
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