Rising Inflation Drives Onion Prices Beyond the Reach of Filipino Wage-Earners

Skyrocketing food prices leave Philippine families in dire straits

Manila, Jan 18 (EFE) – The perfect storm of natural disasters, rising global inflation and lack of aid to farmers have led to Philippine families struggling to maintain decent nutrition despite their precarious economic situations.

As onion prices have soared to 500 pesos (9 dollars) per kilo, significantly higher than the US and other industrialized countries, many families have been forced to purchase cheaper produce such as local chives and spinach.

Marniel Doloricon, a worker in the Quiapo market in Manila, reported to EFE that many workers are earning the minimum wage which is between 500 and 570 pesos a day, and are now buying fewer essential products in the Asian country’s gastronomy.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen to 8.1 percent in December, the highest rate in 14 years, and the main expense of low- and middle-income Filipino families is food.

Dean Dela Paz, an academic, added that Filipino farmers are largely unprotected by their government and do not have access to bank loans, causing the prices of food to increase even more.

Currently, the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture is working on measures to eliminate intermediaries and make food cheaper for consumers.

The war in Ukraine, which started in late 2019 and has since been a contributing factor to global food and energy prices, is now entering its second year. Philippine citizens are entering 2023 with a pressing need for food and nutrition, as a crucial factor in the country’s survival. EFE fsg/pav/jgb

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