Author: DA-AFID | 7 February 2023
Taking off from the instructions of President Ferdinand R. 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.### (Gumamela Bejarin, DA-AFID)