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DA considers imposing SRP on some agri products


The Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing the implementation of a suggested retail price (SRP) for some agricultural products to protect consumers amid the continuous rise in prices.

Among the targeted products of the DA are pork, onion, and sugar products, according to Bernadette Reyes’ report on “24 Oras”.

The DA assured that stakeholders will be consulted before implementing the SRP on the said agricultural products.

“‘Yung mga producers po ay kausap natin, they know already. Sila mismo nagsasabi sa atin na ang farm gate bumaba, ito gumalaw,” said DA Undersecretary Kristine Evangelista.

(We have talked to other producers and they already know. They’ve been telling us that prices at the farm gates are lowering.)

However, several retailers expressed pessimism about the SRP saying it will be difficult to implement it due to the varying prices from the suppliers.

“’Yung iba mataas ang bigay, yung iba naman mababa,” Cres Noda, a pork retailer, said.

(Others give it at a high price, some at a low price.)

Her remarks were echoed by the  Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG), who said the DA should carefully study its proposal as retail prices change depending on the farmers’ expenses.

SINAG also suggested that the department, instead of imposing the SRP, to push for the lowering of farmers’ operating costs. The DA said it is currently studying the distribution of cash subsidies.

The Budget and Management Department had previously released over P8-billion to provide P5,000 cash assistance for rice farmers.

“The cost of production is greatly affected when there is an increase sa presyo ng ating mga feeds,” Evangelista said. “Maghahanap tayo ng ibang sources ‘no para mayroon silang alternative na mapagkukunan ng feeds and other agricultural inputs”.

(The cost of production is greatly affected when there is an increase in the prices of feeds. Let us look at other sources first so they’ll have an alternative on where to get their feeds and other agricultural inputs.)

Apart from the SRP, the DA said it is also looking into importing sugar supplies to stabilize its price on the market.

“The amount of sugar will be discussed tomorrow with the stakeholders because we have to make sure first, we have a proper inventory kung ano yung ating supplies situation. What we're looking at right now is the supply at hand,” Evangelista said.

(The amount of sugar will be discussed tomorrow with the stakeholders because we have to make sure first, that we have a proper inventory of our supply situation. What we're looking at right now is the supply at hand.)

Earlier, President and concurrent Agriculture Secretary Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. met with the members of SINAG to discuss the government’s steps to address the country’s problems in the sugar and coconut industry.

They also talked about the country’s tightening of border controls on several agricultural products entering the Philippines.

“Sana ma-implement yung border controls natin. Yung mga sakit na dumarating sa ating bansa, 'yung bird flu, itong ASF hindi mahinto. So dapat ayusin ang border. ‘Yun ang gusto niyang solusyunan,” SINAG Chairman Rosendo So said.

(We wish that the tightening of the border controls will be implemented. The diseases that enter the country — bird flu, ASF. We should fix it at the border. That’s what he wants to address.) -- Sundy Locus/BAP, GMA News

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