Romualdez orders renewed drive vs onion price manipulation

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday ordered a renewed campaign to bring down the price of onion in the market following monitoring reports that hoarders are active once again in price manipulation of the widely-used agricultural product.

He noted that the monitoring of the House Committee on Agriculture and Food has shown that the price of onion in the market is starting to skyrocket from P90 to P180 per kilo recently.

“Nagsisimula na namang maging aktibo ang mga hoarders at price manipulators ng sibuyas. We will nip this problem in the bud. Hindi natin papayagan na pumalo ang presyo nito sa halagang di abot-kaya ng ordinaryong Pilipino,” the top House leader said.

“Akala yata ng mga hoarders at price manipulators na ito, hindi natin sila binabantayan. Sa pagkakataong ito, hindi nila tayo malulusutan. Pakikilusin natin ang lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno para maibalik sa dati ang presyo ng sibuyas,” he added.

Romualdez bared that he has asked officials of the Bureau of Plant and industry (BPI) to report to his office so they can explain to him and other House leaders why hoarders are able to manipulate the price of onion once again.

He explained that onion farmers had already sold their harvest to wholesalers, yet the supply remain scarce that lead to higher price of onion.

“Sa report na natanggap namin, naibenta na ng mga magsasaka ang harvest nila. Ibig sabihin, nasa cold storage na ang mga ito at pinipigil lang ang release sa market para mapataas ang presyo. Ito ang modus operandi na nadiskubre ng House Committee kung kaya napatigil natin ito noon,” Speaker Romualdez said.

“Kung hindi nila ilalabas ang mga produkto nila, baka mapilitan ang gobyerno na mag-import ng sibuyas. Hindi naman maaapektuhan ang mga magsasaka dahil wala na sa kanila ang mga produkto nila. ‘Yung mga hoarders at price manipulators ang siguradong na malulugi kung may importation,” he explained.