By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday expressed his hope that the national leaders will address concerns surrounding the sharp rise on the price of fertilizers.
“It has reached my attention and we also use fertilizers on the farm. Urea, from P800 last year, the price has climbed to P1,800 per sack now,” Lacson said.
He suspects the reason behind the sharp increase in fertilizer cost was due to the high cost of fuels.
The governor said even some presidentiables are already suggesting what to do like the suspension of excise tax on fuels to lower the prices.
“This is a concern that will have to be addressed by the national government,” Lacson pointed out.
Confederation of Sugar Producers Association Inc. (Confed) President Raymond Montinola said they have expressed concern over the situation which may result in low farmers’ productivity and affect the government’s food security program.
Montinola said the matter has already been brought through a letter to Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar.
Montinola said they told Dar that the federation is appreciative of the assistance extended by the DA, especially in facilitating a meeting with the Sugar Regulatory Administration, Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority and the Planters Products Inc. as early as July this year in the bid to have a quick action plan and link them with a major fertilizer importer-trader that could give a reasonable price.
He lamented, though, that while the price of urea and related farming costs continue to skyrocket to unprecedented levels, sugar prices remain the same.
Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Cynthia Villar have also called the attention of the DA during the budget hearing./DGB, WDJ