By Junex Doronio
January 12, 2023
MANILA — Amid the public uproar on the more than P500 unit price of red onions, the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday has expressed willingness to cooperate with the Office of the Ombudsman in its probe into the procurement of onions.
The Agriculture department has aired suspicion of price manipulation behind high onion prices and DA spokesperson Rex Estoperez bared that they are also looking into the possibility of collusion between some DA employees and the private sector.
“Tungkol doon na sinasabi nating sabwatan ng presyo between the FTI at saka DA, ‘yun ang tinitignan natin kasi kailangan din ‘yung cost structure at saka mga papeles na ito ‘yung contract including ‘yung mga dokumento kung paano ito binili,” Estoperez said in his interview with GMA-7 Balitanghali.
He added that they received the Ombudsman’s communication that it will look into the procurement of onions worth over P500 per kilo by the DA and Food Terminal Incorporated (FTI).
“‘Yun po ang pine-prepare namin ngayon base sa aming data at saka yung mga impormasyon na nakukuha po natin sa ating mga grounds,” Estoperez said.
In its bid to lower the price of onions, the DA has allowed the importation of 21,060 metric tons of onions.
The Agriculture department said such a move may lead to slash the price of onion in the market from P500 to P150 per kilo. (ai/mtvn)