MANILA (UPDATED) — Consumers and businesses can soon find relief from skyrocketing prices of onions as the cost of the produce is expected to fall to P50 a kilo, a lawmaker predicted Friday.
“‘Yung 600 [pesos per kilo] na ‘yan… it will fall to 50 pesos, it’s natural price,” Rep. Joey Salceda, chairperson of House committee on ways and means, told ANC’s Headstart.
“Everything will normalize. You can cut all my 5 fingers if it doesn’t go back 50 pesos,” he said.
The price of onions even reached P700 per kilo in some public markets in Metro Manila during the holiday season.
Salceda said anew that cartels were mainly behind the high prices of onion in the country.
“Pagpasok dito, may mga mafia who has in control of the ports. So pumunta ka diyan sa Subic, I can tell you at least there are about 50 containers filled with onions… delivered little by little,” he said.
“Essentially what they did was predatory pricing. They came in brought the prices down, killed the local Filipino farmers, now they control the supply.”
Salceda added that more than the enforcement of the law, the exorbitant prices are also driven by factors such as agricultural productivity.
The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura earlier said the government’s non-importation of onions last year prompted the soaring prices.
“‘Yung panahon na dapat mag-angkat tayo, ‘di tayo nag-angkat kaya nag-spike ‘yung presyo nang ganoon kataas,” said Rosendo So, president of the group.
To tame the high prices, the Department of Agriculture, headed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has ordered the importation of 21,060 metric tons of onions.
Imported onions will arrive on Jan. 27 — ahead of the expected completion of the local harvest next month.