DEPARTMENT of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol with Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan and Bureau of Plant Industry Officials
During the updates on Garlic Supply and FAO 40th Session at DA Conference Room, Office of the Secretary in Diliman Quezon city on July 12, 2017. Secretary Piñol will issue an administrative order that will ban 43 importers who were supposed to bring in a total of 70,000 metric tons of garlic for the first six months of 2017 but only imported 19,000 metric tons. He said that a total of 43 traditional importers of garlic who were issued permits to be able to import are in the list that will be blacklisted. “DA will not allow them to import anymore because at the time when we need them to import, they did not import. And that is the first indication that there is a cartel. Yes, there is a cartel. There are groups of businessmen who manipulate or control the prices of the commodity to ensure that they make more money,” Piñol explained in media.
He also said that with the ban, there will still be 111 importers who can supply the 130,000 metric tons annual national consumption admitted that over the years, He admitted the department failed to develop the garlic industry which resulted in smaller volume of production and thus resulting to cartel problems requirement and importers do not want to comply with their import permits because of the significantly higher price in China, where the Philippines sources majority of its garlic imports.The country is heavily dependent on the importation of garlic as a measly seven percent of total consumption is from local sources.
No officials in the department are involved in the cartel after Villar threatened to file charges against those who are having connivance with importers.” It is not the indiscriminate issuance of permits but because they just don’t want to import as they will not earn much which is unfair because if you are a legitimate businessman, you will continue to import for the sake of supply,” he conclude. (Photo by: Jimmy Camba)