Press Release
January 16, 2023

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on Malacañang's latest pronouncements regarding onion importation

I hope that Malacanang's announcement that the importation of onion products into the country will be "calibrated" is a firm policy commitment and not an empty promise, for the sake of our farmers and their livelihood.

Importation should not be government's answer whenever prices of onions, sugar, eggs or other products increase. If left unchecked, importation is a double-edged sword which can slash the already meager earnings of our local farmers and other agricultural workers.

This is why I continue to urge the Marcos administration to adopt a two-step policy of 1) importing only half of the 21,060 metric tons of onion authorized by the president and 2) waiting for the results of local onion harvests and checking if such local produce will sufficiently meet the nation's demand.

I also call on the Department of Agriculture to follow President Marcos' earlier acknowledgment of the need to expand support for onion growers by bolstering government assistance for irrigation, and co-financing cold storage facilities, among other key areas for improvement.

As mentioned by DA officials themselves, better access to irrigation will allow onion growers to plant even during traditional "off-seasons," and cold storage facilities will enable onion stocks harvested from February to April to last all the way to the second semester of 2023. These reforms are needed so that high onion prices will soon be a thing of the past, and not a yearlong trigger for tears for Pinoys.

News Latest News Feed