N. Ecija Cong Suansing urges DA to suspend red onions importation
Nueva Ecija 1st District Representative Estrellita Suansing has asked the Department of Agriculture to suspend the issuance of import permits for red onions because of sufficient supply in the country.
The House of Representatives said in a statement Wednesday that Suansing issued the call during the deliberation on Tuesday night of the proposed P49.8 billion budget for the DA for 2019.
“I just would like to know how come we already imported red onions when we still have stocks with the onion farmers,” Suansing said.
Suansing took note of the claim of Bohol 3rd District Rep. Arthur Yap, who sponsored the proposed DA budget, that the estimated volume of red onions in the country after the arrival of the imported 3,839 metric tons as of Sept. 26, 2018 is 71,800 metric tons.
With an estimated monthly consumption of 14,550 metric tons and the current 3.8 months current supply as per onion farmers, Suansing said “we have 8.8 months of supply, which means that we will not plant onions anymore because the duration of the 8.8 months will last until June of next year.”
While he said that the DA is willing to suspend all unused import permits for red onions, Yap explained that the importation is triggered not by the inventory or stock, but by the breaching of prices set by the DA.
“In as much as we are trying to protect the interest of the onion farmers, the interest of the consumers are also on the line,” said Yap, who is Deputy Speaker and Committee on Appropriations vice chair.
“The DA confirms that once the prices get settled at P65, they already started to cancel all those issued permits,” he added.
Yap said only 77 out of 1,436 approved import permits have so far been used.(END)
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