Onions with price cap of P170 per kg will last till December – agri exec
MANILA, Philippines — The supply of red onions — with a price cap of P170 per kilogram — will be enough to last until Dec. 23.
Director Glenn Panganiban of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) of the Department of Agriculture made this assurance on Wednesday during a hearing of the House Committee on Agriculture and Food on agricultural smuggling, hoarding, and price manipulation.
Cavite Fourth District Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., pointing out that the price of red onions rose to P750 in December 2022, had been grilling Panganiban about the issue earlier.
“We have enough until December — December 23 to be exact,” Panginaban said, adding that the price range would be from P140 to P170 per kilogram.
Barzaga then asked him if this supply would be enough to fill the demand until December.
“More than ample,” Panganiban said, noting that there were 21,000 metric tons of red onions.
“So 170 maximum? So if these prices will not happen in reality, what sanctions can be imposed against you and other officials of BPI? This has been its history and we don’t want history to repeat itself. What we want is that what happened last year will not happen this year,” Barzaga said, speaking partly in Filipino.
“Yes sir, we ensure that,” Panganiban said.
Meanwhile, it also came out during the hearing that onion prices had increased from P90 to P180, prompting House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez to order a renewed campaign against onion price manipulation, which according to him, was caused by hoarders.
Romualdez also asked BPI officials to report and explain to him how hoarders were able to manipulate onion prices again.