The Department of Agriculture (DA) of the Philippines issued a stronger and more streamlined monitoring and evaluation scheme for both locally-produced and imported onions and garlic to ensure adequate supply, consumer safety, and stabilize prices.
“Onion and garlic are major spices that make our meals distinctly Filipino,” said agriculture secretary William Dar. “Thus, we should ensure their adequate supply year-round by increasing local production, establishing more storage facilities, and balancing imports during the off-season to attain stable supply and prices,” the DA chief added. “That’s the aim of DA Administrative Order No. 2-2020, which we issued on January 3, 2020.”
The AO2 directs the DA policy and planning office (DA-PPO) and concerned agencies, like the Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) and Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS), to craft and implement appropriate medium- and long-term policies and programs to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s onion and garlic industry.
In particular, the DA-PPO will determine the country’s annual requirement for onion (Red Creole and Yellow Granex) and garlic based on five-year historical data. The DA-PPO will then plan and coordinate with farmers – including the provision for support and incentives – to ensure intensified production and aligned policies that will enable farmers to shift to high-value crops under the Rice Tariffication Law.
“We must define and operationalize medium- to long-term strategy that will, among others, provide the necessary support and counterfunding with organized farmers’ groups, accredited importers and traders, and local government units,” secretary Dar told pia.gov.ph.