3,000 MT of imported onions arrive in PH

Around 3,000 metric tons (MT) of imported onions have so far arrived in the country, the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) disclosed on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Onions at a Quezon City supermarket (Ellson Quismorio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview with the Manila Bulletin, BPI Information Section officer-in-charge Jose Diego Roxas said nearly 3,000 MT of imported onions entered the country as of Jan. 26.

He noted that 124 MT of onions passed the first border while 1,300 MT passed the second border.

“The other 1,500 MT of imported onion is still for inspection,” said Roxas.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) set a strict deadline for the arrival of imported onions on Jan. 27.

Roxas said there is still no available data on whether more imported onions arrived on the date of the deadline.

He said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, who concurrently heads the agriculture department, will preside at a meeting with DA officials and stakeholders on Monday, Jan. 30.

Expected to be tackled in the meeting, according to him, are “situationer, production, cold storage areas, concerns of local onion growers, and the pricing of onions.”

To recall, the DA has approved the importation of over 21,000 MT of onions in a bid to address the supply gap and lower the skyrocketing price of onions in the country.

The BPI official explained that although 21,000 MT was allowed by the government to be imported, only 5,000 MT was actually applied for the emergency onion import of the Philippines.