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Palace: Gov't eyes importing fertilizers from China

The Office of the Press Secretary said on Monday that the Philippine government was looking to purchase cheaper fertilizers from China.

This as President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. discussed plans to import cheaper fertilizers with officials from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC).

According to PITC president and chief executive officer Emmie Liza Perez-Chiong, the agency plans to buy an initial 150,000 metric tons of fertilizer this year from China at $470 per MT, which is cheaper than the current $650 per MT through a government-to-government arrangement.

The Office of the Press Secretary said the fertilizers would be given to local farmers for free to support them and lower the prices of food products.

A memorandum of agreement between PITC and DA was being drafted as this was a basic requirement for a PITC importation plan. Another requirement for PITC’s fertilizer importation is a sovereign guaranty from the government-owned Landbank for a P1 billion credit line.

Marcos, who currently sits as Agriculture chief, said he would sign the MOA between the DA and PITC this week. He also directed Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno to extend the sovereign guaranty to PITC’s credit line from the LandBank.

“I will also ask LandBank to allow DA to use its idle warehouses for the stockpiling of fertilizers,” Marcos said in a press release.

The DA allocated a P4.1 billion subsidy to buy fertilizers, which will be given for free to farmers. With the lowered cost of fertilizers, the DA will be able to buy around 2.277 million bags of urea to be given to farmers through farmers' groups and cooperatives.

The government plans to import around 300,000 MT of fertilizer to be used next year, according to the OPS. — DVM/AOL, GMA Integrated News