President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos has warned hoarders, smugglers, and those who manipulate the prices of basic commodities that their days are now numbered as the government is set to run after them.
In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), Marcos emphasized that smugglers, hoarders, and price fixers of basic commodities such as sugar and onions affect the driving up the prices of agricultural goods.
“Hinahabol at ihahabla natin sila. Sadyang hindi tama ang kanilang gawain,” Marcos said.
He also mentioned that they are not in line with the government’s goal of ensuring affordable food supplies for Filipinos.
“Napapahamak hindi lamang ang mga magsasaka, kundi tayo na ring mga mamimili. Kaya hindi natin papayagan ang ganitong kalakaran,” he added.
During Marcos’ first year as President and concurrent Agriculture chief, he encountered problems with the prices of essential commodities, particularly onions that soared to an alarming price range of P700 per kilogram. This is far from the normal price of P80 to P200 per kilogram.
This is due to the “artificial” surge allegedly caused by onion cartels that generate false scarcity, according to Marikina 2nd District Representative Stella Quimbo.
On July 4, the Chief Executive ordered the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate smuggling of onions and other agricultural products. He stated that such acts are equal to “economic sabotage.”
He also called on the Congress to prioritize the amendment of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act.
“Bilang na ang mga araw ng mga smuggler at hoarder na ‘yan,” Marcos said.