• DA tolerated garlic price manipulation – Senate panel

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    For not doing anything to prevent the sudden spike in the cost of garlic in the country despite adequate supply, the Department of Agriculture (DA) tolerated garlic traders’ price manipulation, the Senate committee on agriculture and food said on Thursday.

    Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the committee, said the DA had failed to come up with mechanisms for monitoring the price movement of garlic and other agricultural products and did not shield consumers from abusive traders.

    Villar noted that under Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act of 1991, which was amended in 2012, the DA was tasked to create a consumer protection group to monitor the prices of all agricultural products in the country.

    However, the DA broke the law by failing to create the group and allowing suppliers to freely adjust prices of agricultural products without being held into account.

    “The consumer protection group is supposed to monitor and act on sudden movements in the prices of agricultural products in the country, but since the DA failed to create such body, there is no one monitoring the prices,” the senator pointed out.

    The committee also saw no reason for sellers to increase garlic prices to between P280 and P300 per kilo, because there was no shortage in the supply of garlic.

    According to Villar the price per kilo of imported garlic including duties was only P17 while locally produced garlic is sold for P40.

    “Besides, 90 percent of our garlic supply is imported so [the price]should be lower, and we can always import more if needed,” Villar said.

    To immediately address the issue and to identify those responsible for the unlawful garlic price increase, Villar said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are conducting an investigation and tracing the cause of the increase.

    Traders who manipulated prices will face charges and their permits may be cancelled.

    Villar expressed belief that the filing of cases against suppliers found liable could discourage others from price manipulation and eventually help bring down the prices of garlic.

    For its part, the DA told the Senate committee that it would come up with a suggested retail price (SRP) for garlic next week and those who refuse to comply will be sanctioned.

    Villar said she expected the DA to set the SRP for garlic at a range of P70 to P100 per kilo as soon as it finishes its computation.

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    2 Comments

    1. Eugenio Lopez on

      PRICE MANIPULATION has been happening eversince. And these TRADERS are mainly CHINESE BUSINESSMEN in the Province controlling the supply of agricultural products. They’ve been doing that on the Supply of Rice, controlling it para magka Rice Shortage which in effect increases the Price of Rice. Pero never naman talaga nagka RICE SHORTAGE sa Pilipinas. Enough ang Pino-PRODUCE ng ating mga local farmers. No need to import. Tinatago lang talaga ng mga Intsik na ito ang Rice sa knilang mga GIANT RICE MILLS. Kapg mataas na ang presyo ng bigas, ilalabas na nila. Now that’s an EASY WAY TO GET MILLIONS OF MONEY. GINATASAN na naman ng mga Intisk ang naghihirap na si Juan Dela Cruz.

      Magkano na ba ang kilo ng bigas ngayon, around 40 pesos na, e dati mga 17pesos lang yan. Dapat i-inspect ng DAR ang mga GIANT Rice mills na to kung saan nakatago ang mga tone-toneladang bigas. Pinagpaguran yan ni Juan na ANIHIN, tapos NANAKAWIN lang mga NEGOSYANTENG INTSIK na ito para kumita lamang ng pera. SO GREEDY. That’s why they getting richer kasi they are robbing Juan Dela Cruz eversince. They are even CONSPIRING TO OUR CORRUPT POLITICIANS to exploit us more and advance their ILLEGAL BUSINESSES. Pero of course UNDER THE PROTECTION of the COrrupt Politician, that’s why their business are thriving because the profit is coming from Public Funds taken from the local government, and INJECTED in the Chinese Businesses. They are not getting rich because of hardwork, but because these Chinese are STEALING money from Juan Dela Cruz. It’s a fact we should solve before all our money are stolen by these exploiters!

      • Eugenio Lopez on

        If we can JAIL SENATORS, we should also JAIL THESE CHINESE BUSINESSMEN/TRADERS. :Let’s start with DAVID TAN a.k.a David Bangayan. These Chinese Traders have been exploiting us ever since. There are a lot of Businessmen like DAVID TAN in the Provinces who are PLAGUING the LOCAL MARKET, HOARDING the AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS, then MANIPULATING the price of the goods. We should call on the SENATE and SC to INVESTIGATE on this and PURSUE this case.

        This is an immediate ISSUE. This a thing that is easily felt by the common Filipino. Kapag tumaas ang presyo ng mga bilihin, WALA NA NAMANG MAKAKAIN SI JUAN. I’m challenging INQUIRER to OPEN THIS ISSUE ON THE MEDIA, and DON’T STOP until the likes of DAVID TAN is in JAIL. If we can jail a President and Senators, we can SURELY HOLD these CHINESE BUSINESSMEN into account and PUT THEM INTO JAIL.