House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez urged the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to finalize their action plan and reforms to dismantle the cartel responsible in manipulating the supply and price of onions.
In a statement, Romualdez also warned that besides the cartel and their cohorts, all other profiteers, including local traders and other players in the onion industry, who will continue to take advantage of consumers will face prosecution.
“Those who are part of the solution we will help; those who are part of the problem, we will not tolerate. We will go after them and make the proper recommendation for prosecution,” he said.
In December, Romualdez called for a congressional probe when prices of onion surged to over P700/kilo to address the issue and protect the consumers.
Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo led the House inquiry that unmasked key cartel personalities and allied firms.
Romualdez said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has expressed appreciation for the effort of the House to go against the onion cartel, particularly the expose of Quimbo.
“At least he knows that we are helping him as Secretary of Agriculture in stamping out these malpractices,” he added.
For his part, BPI Director Gerald Glenn Panganiban has committed to submit in writing to Romualdez within the week the policy reforms the BPI will adopt to prevent price manipulation of agricultural products, specifically onions.
Image credits: Rusu Eugen Catalin | Dreamstime.com