SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan supports the suggested retail price (SRP) scheme being eyed by the Department of Agriculture in face of escalating prices in the world market and to ensure stable food supply at affordable prices.
“Ang pagtatakda ng suggested retail prices (SRP) ay isang paraan na dapat ikonsidera para maprotektahan ang supply chain ng agricultural products mula sa pagtatanim hanggang sa hapag-kainan,” Pangilinan said Wednesday.
“Bukod sa mungkahing dagdag na fertilizer subsidy para sa ating mga magsasaka, sinusuportahan ko ang SRP dahil kailangan nating balansehin ang pangangailan ng mga magsasaka at interes ng mga consumer. Walang nagbebenta nang palugi,” he added.
Officials of DA, Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), and Fertilizer Industry Association of the Philippines are considering the imposition of SRP as a “preemptive measure,” together with finding alternative sources of fertilizers, such as Iran and Brunei.
The former food security secretary said lower inputs like fertilizer will bring down the cost of food production.
“Kung hindi kakayaning bumili ng mga magsasaka ng fertilizers para sa pananim, bababa ang ani; kapag bumaba ang ani, tataas ang presyo ng pagkain,” Pangilinan said.
“Ang pinakamalaking konsiderasyon ay ang stability ng food supply para sa lahat ng pamilyang Pilipino sa gitna ng pandemya. Ayaw nating lalong tumindi ang malnutrisyon, gutom, at food insecurity ng bawat Pilipino ngayong,” he added.
Agriculture officials are also considering the use of local, indigenous, and bio-fertilizers to balance the country’s fertilization strategy.
A DA official said “SRPs will help pull down production cost of farmers as it will cap prices of agricultural inputs while maintaining the production yield high.”
An estimated 2.3 million metric tons (MT) of the 2.6 million MT annual national fertilizer requirements of the Philippines are imported. China supplies about 18 to 20 percent of the country’s fertilizer needs.
Fertilizer prices have risen to more than P1,700 per bag last November, compared with last year’s P1,000 per bag’s average price.
As of November 26, prilled (dried globule) urea has the highest price at P2,154.48 per bag, di-ammonium phosphate at P2,149.59; granular urea at P2,119.77; potassium chloride at P1,621.49; complete fertilizer mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium at P1,581.78; ammophos at P1,459.14; and ammosul at P1,111.12.