President Bongbong Marcos Jr. justified the onion importation from other nations, stating that “our government had no choice but to import” given the disparity between the Philippines’ output and demand for the product.
“Given the production and demand we have in the Philippines, it’s impossible to avoid imports. We’ve tried to get products from smuggling, but the need was still not met. We had no choice but to import, so that’s what we’re doing,” Marcos said. President Marcos is also the Department of Agriculture chief.
The President stated that the administration is trying to find ways to ramp up onion production and other goods rather than importing them.
“We have to go back to the onion growers and help them para magkaroon tayo ng production, hindi na tayo kailangan mag-import. Diyan tayo naipit eh. Nasanay tayo masyado sa import. So import lang tayo nang import, hindi natin inaayos ‘yung production side,” he said.
(We have to go back to the onion growers and help them so we can have [enough] production and we won’t have to import. That’s where we had a problem. We got used to importing. So we resorted to importation but did not address the production side.)
In contrast to relying solely on imports, Marcos stressed the need to increase production from local farmers.
Gov’t had no choice but to import onions – Marcos
In regards to sugar, Marcos said that the government will preserve a two-month sufficient inventory to prevent supply shortages.
“We will maintain from now on, ‘yung sugar, a two-month buffer stock para hindi na magkaroon ng masyadong speculation sa presyo ng sugar. So that people will know hindi tayo magkaka-shortage dahil lagi tayong merong two-month na buffer stock, which I will maintain,” Marcos said.
(We will maintain from now on a two-month buffer stock of sugar so that we will not have much speculation on the price of sugar. So that people will know that there won’t be any shortage because we will always have a two-month buffer stock, which I will maintain.)
In the upcoming weeks, he anticipates a decrease in the pricing of essential goods.
To combat the issue of agricultural commodity smuggling in the Philippines, the President is also examining the techniques utilized by other nations and the application of contemporary technologies.