May 23, 2024

Bantay Palengke, an advocacy network focused on food and household good prices, cautioned the Department of Agriculture that the plan to impose restrictions on the importation of palm oil will result in price increases in cooking oil, pork, chicken, egg, and other food products.

 “We had been informed that the Department of Agriculture is considering some policy proposals that will surely hurt Filipino consumers. We have been monitoring issues being raised by various sectors including some quarters that are competing with the palm oil industry and we are wary that they have misguided our policymakers on this issue,” Bantay Palengke Convenor Lester Codog said. 

Codog said among the proposals is the prohibition of palm oil trading, which is necessary for backyard feed producers to continue operating.

“If we allow this prohibition on palm oil trading, palm oil importation will now solely be the domain of large-scale feed manufacturers. This triggers monopoly pricing and a potential abuse of dominant position. It will marginalize backyard feed producers which rely on affordable palm oil and other materials to remain viable livelihood endeavors. It will also marginalize small-scale and medium-sized feed mills, as they have limited capacity to store various raw materials, including imported palm oil. The DA should rethink this approach as it goes contrary to the objective of the Marcos administration to lower the price of basic goods,” he added.

Codog said they are going around the country to inform and consult consumers and backyard farmers about the policy proposal.

“Once this policy is signed and released, we can consider it as an overregulation. Effective regulation should ensure better lives for Filipinos and should not make life harder. If a proposed policy results in price increases, what is the use of such a regulation? This is the reason why we are warning the DA not to resort to this hasty measure, to this overregulation,” Codog said. – Press release