The Department of Agriculture (DA) over the weekend cautioned the public against purchasing onions from online platforms as these may be illegally imported into the country.
According to the DA, white onions found online are most probably smuggled into the country, as the agency has yet to issue import permits to address the current shortage.
“Lahat ng pumasok na ‘yan ay mukhang illegal,” DA Deputy Spokesperson Rex Estoperez said in Chino Gaston's report on “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday.
(Everything that enters, it looks like those are illegal.)
Online posts indicate that white onions are being sold at P1,650 for a nine-kilogram sack or at P180 per kilogram, but the source of such products has yet to be made clear.
The DA warned that any smuggled products into the country have not been reviewed and could probably be unfit for human consumption.
Moving forward, the DA said it will look into any seized shipments of white onions and review them to be sold at stores of the Kadiwa or the “Katuwang sa Diwa at Gawa para sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita.”
The latest monitoring of the agency shows that prices of local red onions in Metro Manila markets averaged P280.00 per kilogram as of last Friday, December 2, 2022.
It also indicated that there were no available supplies of imported red onion, and both the local and imported varieties of the white onion. — Jon Viktor Cabuenas/DVM, GMA Integrated News