Villar says garlic traders conspired to manipulate market
MANILA, Philippines – Garlic traders have allegedly conspired to manipulate the market, which resulted in the sudden spike of garlic price to P280 per kilo, Senator Cynthia Villar said on Thursday.
“Talagang ano yun manipulation (It’s really a manipulation),” Villar said after the hearing of the Senate committee on agriculture, which she chairs, on the rising costs of agricultural products in the country.
The senator wondered why the price of garlic would shot up to P280 per kilo when the local production cost of garlic was only P40 per kilo while the landed cost of imported garlic was only P17 a kilo, including taxes.
The reasonable price of garlic, she said, should only range from P70 to P100 per kilo.
Asked who had conspired to manipulate the price, Villar said: “Yung mga traders (The traders).
“Kasi sobrang taas. If the bawang is P100, that’s acceptable (Because it’s too high. If the garlic is P100, that’s acceptable),” she added.
But Villar said the Department of Justice and the Department of Trade and Industry have yet to trace the garlic traders who were involved in the alleged price manipulation.
“Kasi sila talaga ang may kasalanan (Because they are really the ones at fault),” she pointed out.
Asked if she thinks concerned government agencies tolerated the price manipulations, the senator said: “In a way because by not doing anything, they tolerated.”
In the meantime, the government would impose a price ceiling or suggested retail price on garlic.
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