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Consumers warn DA on palm oil importation limit

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

According to Bantay Palengke Convenor Lester Codog, “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.”

Codog said that among the proposals include the prohibition on palm oil trading, which is found to be necessary for backyard feed producers.

“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 also mentioned that they are going around the country to inform and consult consumers and backyard farmers about this problematic 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 explained.


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