Marcos Jr. mulls releasing seized smuggled onions to drive down prices
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is looking at stabilizing the price of onions in the market — now ranging from P600 to P700 per kilogram in some areas — by releasing smuggled onions seized in various operations.
In an interview on his Instagram stories on Thursday, Marcos said the government is finding ways to release the seized onions to the market so that the supply would increase and prices would ease down.
Under the economic law of supply and demand, low supply usually leads to higher prices of goods. Increasing the supply of goods, meanwhile, can bring down costs.
“We will stick firmly to the recommended price. The DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) will continue to monitor,” Marcos said.
“We’re trying to find ways to bring the smuggled onions that have been caught na ilagay na sa market para mabawasan ang (to put into the market to minimize the) supply problem,” he added.
The Chief Executive has conceded that the plan faces legal obstacles. Thus, the seized onions will not be released immediately.
“But there are some legal issues to doing that immediately. So we’re still working on that. But we will keep the prices down by monitoring what’s happening in our palengke (local markets),” Marcos noted.
Marcos’ proposal was also raised by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the primary agency tasked to monitor shipments coming into the country. According to BOC Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz, from the start of 2022 up to December 22, the bureau has already confiscated P23.5 billion worth of contraband, including various agricultural products.
BOC can donate the seized onions to Kadiwa stores — a Marcos administration project that minimizes logistical costs between farmers and market sellers to cut prices of essential goods.
READ: Marcos: Kadiwa ng Pasko stores to sell cheaper goods, rice at P25 per kilo
Onions are usually among the most common smuggled items as of late. Last December 23, BOC announced that the majority of the P171 million smuggled agricultural products seized in a recent operation are red and white onions.
READ: BOC: Smuggled onions, other agri goods worth P171.3M seized from one consignee
Then on December 4, the Department of Agriculture, which Marcos heads, said that around 100 metric tons of onions were seized at the Manila International Container Port.
READ: 100 metric tons of smuggled onions seized in Manila
BOC estimates as of December 24 showed that P253 million worth of smuggled agricultural goods were confiscated in just 42 days.
READ: P253-M smuggled farm goods seized in 42 days
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