Image: RMN-Zamboanga

71,000 tons of smuggled onions buried in Zamboanga City

Amid persistently high prices of the staple good, some 71,000 kilos of onions were intercepted and subsequently buried by authorities in Zamboanga City.

The state-run Philippine News Agency said that ​​the onions were buried on Saturday at the Department of Agriculture Research Center compound in Barangay Talisayan, Zamboanga City.

In case you’re wondering why the onions couldn’t have been given away to the public instead, authorities argued that the smuggled goods did not go through safety inspections, which may carry potential health risks.

This formed nearly 12,000 sacks of onions confiscated and buried in the city.

The latest price monitoring sheet from the Department of Agriculture shows local red onion prices are between PHP250 to PHP310 (US$4.61 to US$5.72), while imported white onions are sold at PHP150 to PHP260 (US$2.77 to US$4.80) — already a large drop from when onions were sold at PHP700 (US$12.92) a kilo in markets last December.

Although the government’s move to approve 21,000 tons of imported onions have pushed back prices by PHP200 to PHP300 (US$3.69 to US$5.54), the once-common kitchen ingredient continues to be out of reach for several consumers.

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