Onions sellers may be charged with profiteering if prices continue to be high despite farmers selling their onions for less.
According to a The Manila Times article, Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary and spokesman Kristine Evangelista said last Friday, January 20, that Nueva Ecija farmers sold their onion harvest at P120 per kilo during an inspection.
"The farm gate price [of onions] was only P120 kilo and we expect this to further go down as the harvest increases." "Farm gate price" means this is the price of the product as it is when bought on the farm. In this case, onions were sold to merchants at lower prices than is being sold in the market.
Representative Joey Salceda last week also predicted that the prices of onions will "normalize" to P50 per kilo soon, too.
As of press time, the last reported onion prices from the Bantay Presyo of the DA in palengkes in the metro ranged from P300-P400 per kilo for local red onions while local white onions range from P250-P400 per kilo.
Meanwhile, Evangelista also said that an SRP or suggested retail price may be imposed again for onions despite zero compliance when it was first announced last December. Evangelista also said in the report that the DA is talking about whether some merchants are liable for onion profiteering and that prices will be monitored to determine this. She said, "We have a law against profiteering. We are now discussing how much is the price to consider it as profiteering." Profiteering is defined as earning a profit through illegal means or making an unreasonable profit through sales.