DA assures more zealous watch over onion price tags

UNDER the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Department of Agriculture (DA) reiterated its commitment to intensify efforts to expedite the movement of agricultural and fishery goods and stabilize supply and prices through intensified price monitoring and inspection in Metro Manila markets from February 14 to 16.

On February 14, Task Force Bantay Presyo visited the Muñoz Public Market and Commonwealth Market for a surprise inspection, where two stalls were found violating the suggested retail price (SRP) for red onions.

Another inspection at Quinta, Obrero Public and Balintawak Markets on February 15 resulted in the discovery of five stalls selling overpriced onions ranging from P140 to P250 per kilogram.

A Notice of Violation was handed by DA inspectors to owners of three stalls in Balintawak Public Market and two stalls in Quinta Market.

The task force also visited the Mega Pasig Market on February 16, where two stalls were called out for selling onions without price tags.

Another eight stalls were found selling overpriced commodities.

In line with the presidential directive amid the dip in supply and rise in prices of agricultural products, the DA issued Administrative Circular 05 to set the SRP of imported red onions at P125 per kilogram.

With the DA’s issuance of the notice of violation to the offenders, the case will be transmitted to the Local Government Unit Adjudication.

“Rest assured that the Department will bolster its effort in curbing price manipulation and other market abuses,” Assistant Secretary for DA IE James A. Layug said.

Under Republic Act No. 7581, better known as the Price Act, consumers are protected by stabilizing the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities and prescribing measures against undue price increases during emergency situations as well as natural or man-made disasters.