House inquiry sought into alleged onion cartel

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2023 07:40 PM

ABS-CBN News/file
Residents of San Andres in Malate, Manila line up to purchase red and white onions from Nueva Ecija for only P170 per kilo at the Kadiwa Center at the Bureau of Plant Industry on January 6, 2023. ABS-CBN News/file

Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo has filed House Resolution 681 seeking a House inquiry into the alleged anti-competitive practices and cartel in the onion industry.

“According to price monitoring data from the Department of Agriculture, as of January 5, 2023, the retail price ranges of local red onion and local white onion were at P280 to P650 and P400 to P600, respectively in select markets in the National Capital Region, which were significantly higher compared to the prevailing retail price of local red onion of P220 and imported white onion of P80 on the same day last year,” the resolution said.

“Concerns about the possibility of hoarding of white onions and allegations of onion cartel have been expressed by citizens and policy makers as early as August 2022,” it added.

“Congress has to exercise its oversight functions on the PCC (Philippine Competition Commission), which is expected to effectively perform its mandate to investigate and prosecute anti-competitive practices in the market for onions, considering the continuous rise in the price of onions,” the resolution noted.