DA: Retail price of onion down P10 per kilo

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
DA: Retail price of onion down P10 per kilo
A porter pushes a cart loaded with red onions in Binondo, Manila on May 16, 2023.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — The retail price of onions has decreased by P10 per kilo, with the cost of the red bulbs going down to P130 per kilo from the previous P140 per kilo, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“Based on the monitoring of the DA, the prices of onions and garlic are very stable,” Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said yesterday.

He added that the retail price of white onions was P120 per kilo.

As of Oct. 31, the retail prices of local red bulbs in Metro Manila markets ranged between P120 and P190 per kilo; local white onions, between P120 and P160 per kilo and imported white onions, between P120 and P170 per kilo.

Local garlic was priced at P500 per kilo and imported garlic was between P120 and P160 per kilo.

De Mesa said the retail price of vegetables is expected to go down in the fourth quarter after farm products’ prices went up from August to September this year due to typhoons and monsoon rains in the past months.

De Mesa gave assurance there will be enough supply of vegetables, particularly potatoes, this month until the first quarter of 2024.

“We’re expecting that this November, December and until the first quarter, retail price will be stable, particularly potatoes,” he said.

Based on the DA’s monitoring, the retail price of potatoes ranged between P160 and P220 per kilo.

Local chili went down to P200 to P350 per kilo from the previous P800 per kilo in September.

As for rice, De Mesa said the retail price of grains is stable and stocks are expected to last until the first quarter of 2024.

“Based on our projection for the last quarter, our national stock inventory will reach 90 days and by March and April, our harvest for the dry season will start and we are also preparing for the El Niño. There will be no problem in the supply when it comes to rice, especially with the expected arrival of imported rice from India and our regular rice imports from other countries,” he explained.

Local regular-milled rice ranged between P41 and P44 per kilo; local well-milled rice, between P45 and P53 per kilo; local premium rice, between P47 and P60 per kilo and local special rice, between P54 and P62 per kilo.

Imported well-milled rice ranged between P45 and P48 per kilo; imported premium rice, between P47 and P58 per kilo and imported special, between P54 and P60 per kilo.

The retail prices of pork remain stable at P280 for kasim and P330 for liempo, while chicken is at P180 per kilo and is expected to be stable until yearend, according to De Mesa.

Ex-DA exec to appeal

Dismissed agriculture assistant secretary Kristine Evangelista yesterday said she plans to file a motion for reconsideration after the Office of the Ombudsman ordered the filing of criminal charges against her in connection with the onion crisis in 2022, when the retail price of the bulbs reached as high as P720 per kilo.

“I am now looking at my options. Everything is very fluid. The fact I am filing a motion for reconsideration, (it means) I still believe I can clear my name,” Evangelista said in an interview with The STAR.

Aside from Evangelista, the ombudsman also ordered the filing of graft and falsification charges against Food Terminal Inc. vice president for operations John Gabriel Benedict Trinidad III and 16 others after the FTI procured onions from the Bonena Multipurpose Cooperative at higher prices and sold the bulbs to Kadiwa stores at lower retail prices.

Evangelista said she was surprised by the ombudsman’s decision.

“Yes (I was surprised) as we submitted our counter affidavit. I felt we were able to address all the questions but when the decision came out, it’s different,” she noted.

The ombudsman’s decision was traumatic, she added.

“It’s traumatic. I did not expect that this would happen to me as I did not steal,” Evangelista said, as she maintained that there was no truth to allegations that she was involved in corruption.

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