MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Aquino has ordered the Department of Agriculture to check the phytosanitary condition of some 100 metric tons of smuggled garlic from Hong Kong, with the end goal of unloading this in the market.
Aquino also raised concerns that some individuals may be increasing the prices of garlic artificially as there is enough supply.
“We have already increased the monitoring activities of the Department of Trade and Industry,” the President said in an interview aired over state-run Radyo ng Bayan on Tuesday.
The smuggled Taiwan garlic, with an estimated value of P30 million, arrived in two separate shipments seized at the Port of Batangas.
The shipments, however, carried no phytosanitary clearance.
Retail prices for the commodity soared to as high as P300 to P400 a kilo, from the usual P60 to P90.
In the first quarter alone, the Department of Agriculture monitored that garlic prices increased by 213 percent. (MNS)