A cart of onion at Sangitan public market in Cabanatuan City. Photo by Armand Galang
BONGABON, Nueva Ecija – Mayor Allan Xyztus Gamilla of this town advised local farmers against falling into the supposed ploy of some traders to manipulate onion prices.
“Huwag po kayong maniwala na maraming imported dahil ‘yun po ang sinasabi sa inyo para humina ang loob ‘nyo at ibenta ‘nyo lang sa gustong presyo nitong mga mamimili na ito,” Gamilla said in a meeting with onion farmers here Friday afternoon.
Quoting Agriculture Sec. William Dar, Gamilla said only about 5,500 metric tons of the 35,000 metric tons requested volume of importation were actually issued phytosanitary permits. Those unused permits, he was told, can no longer be used.
Gamilla, along with other local officials, personally handed to Dar earlier this week Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 10-s-2020 which appeals for a stop to importation during harvest season.
He was also assured by Dar and the Bureau of Plant Industry that no recycling of import permits would happen. “Napakahigpit nila ngayon,” the local chief executive said.
Based on local monitoring, the price in the market of red creole has dropped to P40 a kilo and yellow grannex to P21 a kilo from as high as P200 and P70, respectively, before the end of 2019.
Michael Ludura, a farmer from Barangay Lusok here, was dismayed over the skid in prices: “Hindi na po natin malaman kung saan nanggagaling ang presyo na yan at bakit pagdating ng anihan dito sa Bongabon ay mababa na.”
He expressed apprehension as he is set to harvest his red onion by mid-March while current farm gate price is already at P30 to P35 a kilo. “Sana ay huwag nang bumaba pa,” he said. A P40 a kilo of red creole would do, he said.