The agriculture department has warned the general public to brace themselves for price hikes in vegetables over the course of the next few days as the holiday season draws closer.

Rex Estoperez, deputy spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture (DA), said that this is a common occurrence during the holidays and would have an impact on people who would prepare dishes like pancit for noche buena.

Cabbage, carrots, celery, pea pods, onions, and garlic are the typical vegetables that are included as part of the list of ingredients for the favorite Pinoy noodle dish.

“Mayroon kaming impormasyon na iyong atin pong mga gulay, galing doon sa northern area, nagtaasan din, lalung-lalo na sa panahog natin sa pansit. Pero base doon sa information natin, bumaba na rin iyong presyo dahil sa dami ng supply rin doon sa mga area na iyon,” Estoperez said during a Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday.

He said that based on their December 13 price watch for vegetables, carrots remained at P100 per kilo, onions still at P300 per kilo, imported and native garlic remained at P100-P250 per kilo; and cabbage at P140 per kilo, which is P20 more than the previous day.

The price of a kilogram of potatoes has decreased to P130, while the price of a kilogram of tomatoes to P90.

According to him, the prices of vegetables that come from the highland region of Baguio should not be so high that they are unaffordable to consumers.

“We’re expecting na sana naman na ang atin pong mga gulay na ‘yan na kailangan natin sa pasko ay ang presyo din dapat reasonable din,” he said.

But retailers of vegetables, he explained, are complaining that it is impossible for them not to raise prices because of the costs they incur for factors like transportation, gasoline, handling, and water in their stands, among other things.
He said market administrators should help the DA and local government units monitor prices.

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