House probe on FDA ‘inability’ to regulate fertilizer prices

August 1, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 347 views

MAGSASAKA party-list Rep. Argel Cabatbat has sought a congressional inquiry on the alleged inability of Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) in regulating the high prices of pesticides.

Cabatbat called on the House committee on agriculture and food is urged to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the inability of FPA in regulating the high prices of fertilizers.

Under House Resolution (HR) No. 1965, Cabatbat said that FPA should ensure that the farmers have access to affordable fertilizers to lessen their production costs and improve their income.

“The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people; and an expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged,” the resolution stated.

Based on the 2021 Weekly Retail Prices of fertilizers published on FPA’s website, the resolution said the average price of urea (prilled), combining all the regions of the country, as of January 4-8, 2021 amounts to P1,044.65 per bag (50 kg), while as of July 5-9, 2021, it jumped to P1,320.72, which is a notable 20.9% increase in just seven months.

Cabatbat said the high cost of fertilizers is an added burden to the Filipino farmers who have consistently been put in the most disadvantaged and vulnerable position, prompting them to resort to

securing loans that they can barely pay due to the accrued interests or borrowing at usurious rates from private individuals.