Former Filipino Secretary of Agriculture William Dar has denied involvement in an alleged onion cartel that is said to have been behind the spike in onion prices last year. Yesterday, Dar stated that he was ready to defend himself from any accusations related to the controversial onion price surge.
During last month’s hearing, House Committee on Agriculture and Food Chairman and Quezon 1st district Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga stated that Dar, who led the Agriculture Department during the latter part of the Duterte administration, had a lot of explaining to do.
However, Dar stressed that the soaring prices came about after his term. He added: “In contrast, prices of onion were stable during our incumbency. Simply put, we did not have any hand in the price surge of onion, that reached as high as ₱700 per kilogram during the last quarter of 2022.”
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Dar said that during his stint from August 5, 2019 to June 30, 2022, the country had an excess of 107,719 tons of onions. He also noted that prices of onion during the first six months of 2022 ranged from ₱60 to ₱80 per kilo.
[ ₱10 = €0.17 ]