House to continue monitoring cost of agri products -- Romualdez | Inquirer News

House to continue monitoring cost of agri products — Romualdez

/ 04:02 PM October 12, 2023

House Speaker Martin Romualdez

House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez (INQUIRER file photo / MARIANNE BERMUDEZ)

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has assured the public that the House of Representatives would continue to monitor prices of agricultural products, even as charges have been filed against alleged smugglers and some government officials.

Romualdez, in a statement on Thursday, said that the filing of charges before the Department of Justice (DOJ) is a welcome development, especially since Filipinos have been badly affected by the increase in prices of food products.


“We welcome this result, and we expect prosecutors to make the charges stick. We will continue to monitor prices, and we will not hesitate to exercise our power of oversight by conducting an investigation and prodding agencies so we can protect the public from high prices and inflation,” Romualdez said.


The House of Representatives conducted a series of hearings early this year on the  high price of onions during the last quarter of 2022.

After the hearings, House Committee on Agriculture and Food chairperson and Quezon 1st District Rep. Mark Enverga, along with Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo revealed that they had identified the individuals involved in agricultural smuggling.

According to Quimbo, she is convinced that controversial agriculture trader Lilia Cruz remains the “undisputed sibuyas (onion) queen,” claiming that the businesswoman’s prints are all over the supply chain.

Quimbo explained that cartels were able to hoard onions and manipulate prices by creating a fake shortage in cold storage facilities — forcing farmers to sell their produce at lower prices due to fears that onions might only get spoiled if not stored properly.

She also noted that cartels also claimed that onion prices would crash due to the impending arrival of cheaper imports.

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TAGS: Agriculture, House of Representatives, Martin Romualdez, Price

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