Marcos orders DA to look into soaring egg prices

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 24) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered the Department of Agriculture (DA) to investigate the recent rise in egg prices, reaching ₱9 apiece.

Marcos gave the instruction to DA Usec. Domingo Panganiban during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, after the DA's price watch reported the ₱9 retail price for medium-sized eggs, higher than last month's ₱6.90, the Palace said in a statement.

According to the DA, eggs should just sell from ₱7 to ₱7.50 each.

"We determined that the increase in the price of eggs is not commensurate to the increase in production cost," Marcos said.

"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 added.

Speaking to CNN Philippines, Philippine Egg Board Association (PEBA) chairman Gregorio San Diego said there has been an increase in farmgate prices of eggs.

"The price...on average nationwide is around ₱7.10 last week," he told The Final Word.

San Diego added that the highest farmgate price is in Ilocos Norte at ₱7.83, while the lowest is in Cebu at ₱5.98.

Malacañang quoted Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista as saying that the department has started eliminating "certain layers of traders" to slash egg prices.

"We are coordinating with [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," Evangelista said.

PEBA, however, said it would be difficult to remove "middle men" or retailers.

"How can they manage to sell, to bring their produce to the market now that our farms are being relocated far, far away from the market because of local government regulations. We are very far from the market," San Diego pointed out.

PEBA is set to meet with the DA on Wednesday to discuss the rising egg prices, which San Diego said is also being experienced in several other countries like the United States and New Zealand.