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Philippine Watchdog Probes Suspected Onion Cartel

 |  February 16, 2023

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has been looking into the possibility that a cartel has been behind the recent spike in onion prices, reported Bloomberg.

“Since November 2022, the PCC has been investigating the high prices of onion for possible cartel or abuse of dominance conduct, consistent with the probe prompted by House Speaker Rep. Martin G. Romualdez and House Resolution No. 681 filed by Rep. Stella A. Quimbo,” the competition watchdog said in a statement.

Read more: Netherlands: Onion cartel lands fine for seven

The PCC said it launched a market assessment after observing an “unusual high range” of onion retail prices, which peaked at P600 per kilogram (/kg) in December last year.  

“As prices are seen to stabilize due to the imports and the SRP1 set last Feb. 6, the PCC is looking into the cause of such market anomaly in coordination with the sector regulators and other law enforcement agencies,” it said.

Legislators and agriculture industry stakeholders have raised concern over the surge in onion prices, citing importation issues, price manipulation and smuggling.