MANILA - The Department of Agriculture (DA) will meet with egg producers and traders to address the rise of chicken egg prices despite enough supply, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Tuesday said.
"President (and Agriculture Secretary) Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has ordered Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban to meet with egg producers and traders to determine why prices of chicken eggs have surged in recent weeks despite enough supply in the market," the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said in a statement.
During the Cabinet meeting, Marcos said the DA must determine the reason behind the gap between the farmgate and retail prices considering that the administration is working to achieve its target of making affordable food available for Filipino families.
"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," he said.
As of Tuesday, the prevailing price of medium-sized eggs in Metro Manila are at PHP8 to PHP9 per piece.
"The DA said eggs should just retail between PHP7 to PHP7.50 per piece given its farmgate prices. Reports show that eggs are being sold as high as PHP9.60 per piece," the PCO added.
In an earlier press briefing, Philippine Egg Board Association chairperson Gregorio San Diego said the range of current retail prices for eggs is "too much."
San Diego said the projected volume of egg production for this year remains stable.
"We think that is too much. Kasi dati rati from farmgate price, sentimo lang ang idinaragdag hanggang sa market. Pero ngayon napakalaki na niyan (because before, from the farmgate price, the markup is just centavos higher up to the market. But now, that's too big), it's more than PHP2 per egg," he said.
The DA earlier said the elimination of layers in the value chain will help prevent such price increases.
"We are coordinating with (the) (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," DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista earlier said.
The department also brought back the operation of the Price and Volume Watch Committee and Advisory Groups for Livestock and Poultry to monitor the prices of eggs of varied sizes in the markets across the country.
Last December, the price of medium-sized eggs was only PHP6.90 per piece, significantly lower than the current retail price. (PNA)