It is said that the Department of Agriculture is still not considering the importation of onions even though a kilo of such spices is now reaching more than P520 in the markets.
According to DA deputy spokesperson Rex Estoperez, this could worsen the smuggling of agricultural products in the country.
Estoperez further said that the ‘peak season’ of onions harvested in the country is in January 2023.
“Ayaw natin i-tolerate iyong smuggling. Kapag sinabi nating mag-issue tayo ng import permit, sa paligid lang iyan, ilalabas lang nila iyong smuggled goods,” explained Estoperez.
Estoperez also said that the DA does not release any projections on the volume of onions that can be produced in January.
It has been reported that at Mega Q Mart in Cubao, Quezon City, onions have hit P500 per kilo until yesterday.
According to the vendors, they can no longer get cheap onions in Divisoria so the price of their merchandise has increased.
Price of onions now at P500 per kilo
They said that the onions that cost P420 per kilo are shriveling and about to spoil because they are ‘old’ or those from the cold storage facility, while the onions that cost P400 to P450 per kilo are not good anymore.
Because of this, some vendors are no longer selling onions, especially since many consumers are complaining and don’t want to buy anymore.
The vendors also expressed their fear that the price of onions may increase even more due to the increase in demand due to the arrival of the New Year.
Senator Imee Marcos has introduced legislation calling for a Senate investigation into the skyrocketing market pricing of local onions.
In proposed Senate Resolution 350, filed on December 6, Marcos stated that there is a “need to determine the cause, as well as ensure” that the Bureau of Plant and Industry’s (BPI) suggestion to import onions will not “kill the local onion production or industry.”
She referenced an Administrative Circular No. 09 issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) on October 7 that sets the suggested retail price for red onions in Metro Manila at P170 per kilogram.