Consumer group backs House probe into ‘persistent’ low prices of copra


An organization of consumers has supported a House plan to investigate the “continuing low prices” of copra in the market.

Bantay Palengke has supported the plan of House of Representatives Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan for the inquiry.

The lawmaker last week filed House Resolution 1062 and urged the committees on agriculture and food, and trade and industry to conduct the probe “in aid of legislation.”

“We support Cong. Libanan’s initiative as consumers notice that while the market price of coconut oil is high, the raw material used to produce it is being bought at a very low price,” Bantay Palengke Convenor Lester Codog said.

“Both our farmers and Filipino consumers are at the losing end of this issue. Lugi po ang ating mga magsasaka pero hindi pa rin mababa ang presyo ng produktong nakakarating sa mamimili,” he added.

The farm-gate price of copra dropped to P20 per kilogram as of the first week of March this year, lower than the P42 trading price in March 2022, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said.

Moreover, the group said, “As a major agricultural commodity, copra contributes billions to our economy. It is about time that we give back to our coconut farmers by ensuring that they are being paid fairly.”

“We are hoping that the House investigation will be able to get to the bottom of this injustice and result in appropriate legislative measures to address the problem,” Codog added.

Image credits: Bloomberg News