MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Thursday said government is looking for ways to sell smuggled red onions to the public, as their price soared to P700 in some public markets in Metro Manila.
In an interview with Press Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, Marcos Jr. said government "will stick firmly to the recommended price" of red onions.
This is why smuggled onions must be sold in public markets to pull down their price, but he said doing this is not easy, given legal issues.
"The DTI will continue to monitor. We’re trying to find ways to bring the smuggled onions that have been caught na ilagay na sa market para mabawasan ang supply problem," said Marcos.
"But there are some legal issues to doing that immediately. So we’re still working on that. But we will keep the prices down by monitoring what’s happening in our palengke," he added.
The current suggested retail price (SRP) of local onions is at P170 per kilogram, but the Department of Agriculture, the agency he currently leads, is recommending an SRP of P250 by year-end.
Earlier this month, Marcos said government is looking for ways to handle smuggled onions.
The Department of Agriculture has confiscated thousands of kilograms of both red and yellow onions as the agency looks into the reason why their prices remain high.
Agriculture officials are considering selling the confiscated onions to Kadiwa stores once these are confirmed safe for consumption. Some onions though have been found with chemical residue and E. coli.
The DA maintained that the country has enough onion supply.
"Mayroon tayong supply, hindi sobra-sobra," he had said during a public briefing.
(We have a supply of red onions but there is no excess.)
The DA is not yet considering importation to increase the supply, its spokesperson had said.