House panel vows to intensify crackdown on smugglers

House panel vows to intensify crackdown on smugglers, price manipulators

/ 05:20 PM November 02, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Despite the lower price of onions, the House of Representatives said it will continue to fight against hoarders and price manipulators.

According to the Deputy Majority Leader and Quezon Province Second District Rep. David Suarez on Thursday, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported a P10 per kilo price reduction on onions.

“Buoyed by this development, and upon the instruction of Speaker Martin Romualdez, the House Committee on Agriculture and Food will intensify its investigation on hoarders and price manipulators not only of onions but of other staple food items like rice,” he said in a press release.


“Our mission order is clear: there is no room for smugglers, hoarders, and price manipulators under this administration,” he emphasized, saying that the House will extend support to the “call for an all-out war” against the economic perpetrators.


READ: Onions with price cap of P170 per kg will last till December – agri exec 

The continuing reduction in the price of onion, as well as the filing of criminal charges against those involved in its artificial shortage, is a testament to the effective collaboration between the House and the Executive department, Suarez said.

He also acknowledged the DA’s monitoring of prices of commodities, saying that it led to price stability on onion, garlic, and other agricultural products.

READ: Raps filed vs 40 onion smugglers, price manipulators — DA

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa’s assurance of having enough supply of vegetables up to the first quarter of 2024 is also a positive development, according to Suarez.

The representative added that the stabilization of retail prices for potatoes and the significant reduction in the price of local chili are laudable achievements.

Amid all these developments, Suarez reiterated that the progress would not signify the end of their mission against hoarders and price manipulators.

READ: Desperation over onion

“However, while we celebrate these gains, we remain committed to ensuring that no individual or entity takes undue advantage of our citizens,” he said.


“The recent controversy surrounding the onion crisis in 2022, where prices skyrocketed to as high as P720 per kilo, serves as a stark reminder of the challenges we face,” he pointed out.

Suarez said that the House is committed to working with the DA and other relevant agencies to keep Filipinos safe from price manipulations and hoarding activities.

“The House Committee on Food and Agriculture will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit to protect consumers from unscrupulous traders,” he concluded.

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As for the Executive department, Suarez said it must continue its part in prosecuting and filing cases against those involved in hoarding and price manipulation.

TAGS: House, House of Representatives, onion, Prices, smugglers

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