By Liza Soriano
Unit prices of onions at a local market (Photo courtesy of SCMP)
MANILA — Senator Cynthia Villar on Monday questioned the soaring prices of onions despite not having a real shortage of local onions in the country.
The senator said that there is no shortage for the prices of onions to be as high as P700 per kilo during the holiday season and P350 to P550 this week.
“So we could say that we really don’t have a shortage to cause an increase in price, that is why we’re calling this hearing for the people to be able to explain what is happening… they have to explain to us what is happening in the DA and, of course, in the Bureau of Customs,” Villar said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Imee Marcos blamed the Department of Agriculture (DA) for poor planning.
“The price of onions had taken us on this mad roller coaster ride during the last few months. It is apparent that there is an abject lack of planning (on the part of DA) therefore,” she said.
The DA’s plan to import 20,000 MT of onions to combat the skyrocketing prices was also questioned because it would allegedly cause losses for onion producers who were planning to harvest in the following month.
As a response, the DA stated that it had already amended its request and would only import 5,000 MT of onions.