Pimentel believes ‘price manipulation’ causing high onion prices
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III believes that “price manipulation” is the reason why onion prices in the country are skyrocketing.
In an ANC Headstart interview on Tuesday, Pimentel was asked why a kilo of onions is priced at P400 to P600.
Pimentel replied: “Most likely — ito ang personal opinion ko (this is my personal opinion) — there’s some price manipulation.”
“And how do you manipulate the price? Ayun marami na ‘yun (Many ways) [such as] use the supply chain as the reason for a decrease in supply,” he added.
According to Pimentel, there may be a local supply deficiency since the peak season for onions does not fall during the harvesting period.
The senator said that the Department of Agriculture (DA), headed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., should study the onion seasons to avoid supply woes.
Pimentel likewise noted that there is no onion shortage globally.
“Was there a lack of world supply? Hindi po kasi (No, because) there’s smuggling going on. Therefore, had the DA been studying the seasons — harvest season, cropping season, alam na dapat nila ‘yan (they should know that),” he said.
“Sabi ko nga kahapon (As I said yesterday), how old is the Department of Agriculture? It’s more than 100 years old as a department,” Pimentel continued.
The DA, for Pimentel, “should have an institutional memory” that “the world has seasons.”
Pimentel reiterated that Marcos should already appoint a permanent secretary for the DA to have an additional person to help the president focus on agricultural issues.
Aside from onions, the country is also facing concerns about the rising price of eggs.
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