Speaker Martin Romualdez on Sunday warned hoarders of onion and garlic who create artificial scarcity in supply that leads to price increases.

Romualdez said he instructed the House Committee on Agriculture and Food to conduct an investigation and recommend the filing of charges.

Despite the ongoing harvest season and the entry of imported onions, retail prices of these agricultural products remained high, according to Romualdez.

“We received information that these people are hoarding onion, and more recently even garlic, to create an artificial scarcity in supply and induce price increases,” he said.

According to Romualdez, the House panel “will study the option of recommending to the President the calibrated importation of onion and garlic as means to force these unscrupulous individuals to unload their stocks and drive down the prices to alleviate the burden on the consumers.”

He pointed out, however, that such importation should not be prejudicial to the welfare of the local farmers.

“It is very important to ensure that any importation should consist of such quantity and be done well ahead of the harvest season to avoid any adverse effect on the livelihood of our local farmers,” he said.

Apart from the investigation, Romualdez wants daily monitoring of the prices of onion and garlic in the local markets.

Meanwhile, Romualdez and Vice President Sara Duterte, reassumed their positions as president and chairperson, respectively, of Lakas Christian Muslim (Lakas-CMD) after the party election on Friday.

“The installation of the new Lakas-CMD leaders will strengthen and reinvigorate our party in support of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his agenda for prosperity and socio-economic roadmap,” Romualdez said.

Lakas-CMD now has 68 representatives as members, aside from hundreds of governors, city and town mayors, provincial board and city and municipal council members, and other local officials.

Other elected officials of the party were former president and now Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Pampanga as chairperson emeritus; former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., co-chairperson emeritus; Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., co-chairperson; Capiz Gov. Fredenil Castro, vice chairperson; and House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe, executive vice president.The other officers are Representatives Jose Aquino ll of Agusan del Norte, secretary general; Samantha Santos of North Cotabato, deputy secretary general; and David Suarez of Quezon, treasurer. (PNA)

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