Market prices of onions remain above the expected range in Metro Manila, even as farmers groups reported a drop in farmgate prices amid the local harvest season and the influx of vegetable imports.
According to the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) on Sunday, prices in Metro Manila should have gone down to as low as P80 per kilogram but instead have stayed above P100 per kilo, months after hitting over P700 per kilogram in some Metro Manila markets late last year.
“The farmgate price of red onions in Nueva Ecija currently ranges from P55 to P60 (per kilo) and the white, more or less, is at P60 per kilo for the farmgate price. Prices in Metro Manila should perhaps be at P90 or P80,” SINAG Chairperson Rosendo So said in an interview aired on GMA News on Sunday.
The same report noted, however, that red onions ranged from P120 to P140/kg, with white varieties at P100/kg at the Datu Tahil Market in Commonwealth, Quezon City.
At the Blumentritt Market, red onions were priced at P120/kg and whites at P140 a kilo. Increases were also seen in the prices of tomatoes and calamansi in both markets.
Latest data available from the Department of Agriculture’s price monitoring indicate that prices of the local red onion ranged from P90 to P150, and the local white onion from P80 to P130 per kilogram in Metro Manila markets as of Friday, March 10.
Prices of imported onions, both the red and white varieties, ranged from P100 to P120 per kilogram.
Last month, the DA issued notices of violation against several stall owners in Metro Manila for selling “overpriced” onions in the markets.
In a statement, the DA said inspections conducted from Feb. 14 to 16 showed that some stalls have been selling a kilogram of onions from P140 to P250.
Such price range is higher than the suggested retail price (SRP) of P125 per kilo for imported onions.
“A notice of violation was handed by DA inspectors to owners of three stalls in Balintawak public market and two stalls in Quinta Market. The task force also visited the Mega Pasig market on February 16, where two stalls were called out for selling onions without price tags. Another eight stalls were found selling overpriced commodities,” it said.
DA Inspectorate & Enforcement (I & E) Assistant Secretary James Layug assured that the DA will continue to intensify efforts against overpricing of onions, especially as the peak harvest season continues.
“Rest assured that the department will bolster its effort in curbing price manipulation and other market abuses,” he said.
Meanwhile, these notices against offenders shall be referred to the local government unit adjudication, according to the DA.