MANILA - The Bureau of Customs and the Department of Agriculture have found some P30 million worth of "smuggled" yellow onions in container vans, the DA said Saturday.
The estimated 100,000 kilos of yellow onions were discovered on Nov. 29 as the government continues to look into the supposed shortage in onions, the DA said in a press statement.
The items were misdeclared as bread/pastries.
Import documents also showed that the shipment "did not undergo any food safety regulations," the statement said.
“This poses a great risk to our consumers,” Agriculture Assistant Secretary James Layug said of the shipment.
Smuggled agriculture products pose danger to the local agri-fisheries sector because "cargoes may be carriers of transboundary diseases," he said.
Authorities from the agriculture department will recommend the filing of charges to the Bureau of Customs.
Prices per kilogram of red onions soared to P300 in some wet markets this week, even as the country's supply seemed "sufficient," based on the DA's monitoring.
The agriculture department has yet to decide on whether or not to import red and white onions, pending the recommendation of the Bureau of Plant Industry.