MANILA – Senate committee on agriculture and food chair Senator Cynthia Villar said yesterday that the unreasonable increase in the price of garlic is a result of price manipulation.
“There is really manipulation because the cost of garlic at production cost is P40 per kilo while imported garlic is pegged at P17 per kilo with duty. How can P17 and P40 per kilo go up to P280 per kilo?” she said during the committee hearing.
The senator also criticized the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) for their failed implementation of the Price Control Act.
“The prices are too high. If you sell it at P100 per kilo, that’s understandable but P280 per kilo is too much,” she added.
According to the senator, the Price Control Act supposedly aimed to protect consumers amid soaring garlic prices.
“There is no shortage in supply. They (traders) are just controlling the supply, which is in the hands of the few. If there was shortage, importation would cost P17 per kilo only at landed cost,” she said.