By Liezelle Soriano
PBBM: Local production of onions can help bring prices down (Roy’s Farm photo courtesy)
MANILA — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that the country has no choice but to import onion as the local harvest is not enough.
“May nagsasabing onion, hindi kailangan mag-import. Papaano naman hindi kailangang mag-import? Tignan mo yung production ng Pilipinas, tignan mo yung demand, malayo talaga,” Marcos said during briefing en route to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
“Sinubukan natin na makuha lahat ng mga smuggled, pero kulang pa rin, kasi hindi rin natin nagamit yung smuggled. Talagang we were forced to import, so that is what they are doing,” he added.
In order to reduce the need for imports, which also subjects the nation to inflationary risks, Marcos, who also oversees the agriculture department, vowed that his government will put policies in place to promote local production of onions and sugar.
“We have to go back to the sugar industry, we have to go back to the onion growers and help them, para magkaroon tayo ng production, hindi na tayo kailangan mag-import. Dyan tayo naipit eh, nasanay tayo masyado sa import, so import tayo ng import hindi natin naayos yung production side,” the President said.
“Kaya nung tinamaan tayo ng pandemya, ramdam na ramdam natin. Same thing like now, when we lost supply from abroad, or when we take supplies from abroad, yung inflationary forces doon, nadadala dito sa Pilipinas. Kaya’t yun ang tinitignan talaga natin ang taas ng inflation, so we have to bring that down for the rest of the year. And I think it will come down,” he added.