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Marcos orders Panganiban: Reduce ‘unreasonable’ egg prices


January 25 ------ In a bid to reduce the “unreasonable” egg prices in the country despite ample supply, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., who concurrently heads the Department of Agriculture (DA), has directed DA Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban to meet with egg producers and traders to find out what caused the increase in prices of chicken eggs.


This order was given by Marcos to Panganiban during a cabinet meeting as the government intends to implement interventions aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and ensuring the availability of nutritious food at reasonable prices.


The chief executive has sought an explanation for recent increases in egg prices, pointing to a growing disparity between farm gate and retail prices that benefits primarily traders. “We determined that the increase in the price of eggs is not commensurate to the increase in production cost,” said Marcos. “So we will have to have a look to see how to control that because we cannot explain almost one-half of the profit margin that we are seeing. We cannot attribute it to cost.”


Per the agriculture department’s price watch as of Jan. 13, medium-sized eggs cost P9 each, up from P6.90 in December 2022. Given farm gate prices, the DA believes eggs should only cost P7 to P7.50 per piece. According to reports, eggs can be purchased for as much as P9.60 per piece. To address the situation, the DA has earlier reconvened the Price and Volume Watch Committee and Advisory Groups for Livestock and Poultry to closely watch the prices of eggs across the country.


In an earlier interview, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista stated that the agency is removing “certain layers of traders” in order to reduce chicken egg prices. “We are coordinating with Philippine Egg Board also to see the supply situation, and if there are bottlenecks. Right now, what we are doing also is to eliminate certain layers of traders because that will also help bring down the price,” she said. “Hopefully, mas maganda ang production also of the eggs. There are some challenges that our egg producers are faced with that is now being addressed by our Bureau of Animal Industry.”


In a television interview on Jan. 12, DA deputy spokesperson Assistant Secretary Rex Estoperez sa said bird flu or avian influenza—a respiratory disease of birds caused by influenza A viruses—has caused the rise in the price of eggs in the country. “Tinamaan po tayo ng avian influenza (bird flu) so nag-re-recover pa lang tayo,” he said. In its report to Malacañang, the agriculture department said the farmgate price of medium chicken eggs is P6.97 per piece, 7.89 percent higher than the price in December 2022.


Source: mb.com.ph

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