Caritas Philippines calls for more gov’t support to onion farmers

January 16, 2023 - 5:21 PM
This undated photo shows vegetable vendor arranging garlic and onion at her stall in Bangar, Ilocos Norte (Ernie Peñaredondo/The Philippine Star)

The Catholic Church’s social action and advocacy arm urged the government to provide farmers with needed assistance amid the soaring prices of onions in the market.

Caritas Philippines issued a statement Monday calling on the Department of Agriculture to help farmers increase onion production at less costs in a bid to lower their prices in the market.

“The government should provide financial incentives or subsidies to help our farmers grow more onions and lower the cost of production,” said its president Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo.

“This will make them more competitive with producers from other countries, who are already receiving large subsidies and other forms of support from their government,” he said.

Aside from the financial support, the bishop also urged the DA to improve onion farming infrastructures in the country.

“Another thing that can be looked into is infrastructural investments that would improve the productivity and efficiency of onion farms,” Bagaforo said.

“More cold storage facilities should be established to lessen the cost surplus of our farmers and meet the rising demand for agricultural products in the market,” he added.

The national Caritas issued the statement as prices of local red onions are now between P500 to P720 per kilogram, while local white onions are priced at P600.

The amount is far from prices in 2021, when the prevailing price of locally produced onions stood at around P140 per kilo.

RELATED: ‘Priced higher than meat, minimum wage’: Philippine onion crisis lands TIME feature