Private stakeholders and concerned government agencies pay attention to one of the presentations during the discussion

The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) has successfully conducted the Consultation on the Setting of Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) of Agricultural and Fishery Commodities on May 31, 2018 at Apacible Hall, Quezon City to validate and provide comments on the data gathered on imposing SRPs on selected products.

The consultation gathered almost 90 participants from concerned government agencies and private stakeholders and was presided by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

The Agriculture department has prioritized setting the SRPs for rice, pork, beef, chicken, egg, onion, garlic, and fish (tilapia, milkfish, and round scad).

For rice, Piñol said that prices differ for palay, well-milled, and regular-milled rice. It was agreed that only regular-milled rice will be imposed with a Php40/kg SRP.

The DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) presented the total production for raising chicken which costs Php 76.79/kg and are sold at a farm gate price of Php 89.69/kg.

A fully dressed chicken costs Php111.76/kg and is sold at wholesale for Php122.50/kg, and total marketing cost amounted Php127.46/kg and sold at retail for

United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) President Atty. Elias Jose Inciong mentioned that poultry raisers have different production systems and cost structures. As such, the data presented by BAI only reflects manufacturing production wherein inputs are oftentimes contracted.

Moreover, Julius Camania of Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magsisibuyas ng Nueva Ecija (KASAMNE) was worried on imposing SRP on onion as it may bring an increase in the importation of the product.

As a response, Sec. Piñol said that increasing the local production will deter importation. “The DA is targeting to expand onion farms to supply at least 80% of the local requirement,” he added.

The data of the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) showed that onion has a production cost of Php120,000/ha and are sold at a farm gate price of Php33/kg, Php43/kg in wholesale, and Php53/kg in retail.

According to the Sugar Regulatory Administration, as of May 20, 2018, the quedan price of one sack (50kg) of sugar is Php1,843.47and is sold at a retail price of Php59.09/kg.

The sugar stakeholders suggested that there is a need to rehabilitate the sugarcane farms to increase its productivity.

Sec. Piñol mentioned that in Negros Oriental, a farmer is harvesting almost twice of the average sugarcane production in the country because of an irrigation system installed in his farm. He added that the department is planning to introduce solar-powered irrigation system to sugar farms for the industry’s productivity.

For fish industry, Alonso Tan of the Alliance of Philippine Fishing Federations, Inc. (APFFI) commented that SRP cannot be set for galunggong (round scad) since there is no definite time and duration of fishing operation.

He added that as of May 30, 2018, the price of galonggong at port is Php110/kg and Php140-160/kg in the wet market.

Sec. Piñol invited the private sector to join the various Technical Working Groups (TWGs) that will be created as well as, further researches and consultation that will be conducted for setting the SRPs of basic commodities. – LC