Agency under DA may be abolished for garlic prices' manipulation

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Thursday, September 4, 2014


MALACANANG is now studying the possibility of abolishing an agency under the Department of Agriculture (DA) after the finding of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that there was collusion in the spike in garlic prices a few months ago.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the result of the DOJ's investigation was "the outcome of the continuing efforts of the government to stop abuses that produce disadvantage and detriment to our populace."

"Tiyak na pinag-aaralan nang mabuti ang mga rekomendasyon na ito at nagkakaroon naman ng mainam na koordinasyon among the various departments of government para masolusyunan ang suliraning ito," he said when asked if President Benigno Aquino III would uphold the recommendation of the DOJ to abolish National Garlic Action Team (NGAT) for not doing its mandate.

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The DOJ has attributed the spike in garlic prices several months ago to collusion between officials for the DA and a garlic importer.

Coloma said the President continues to monitor cases on alleged abuses in the import and trade of basic commodities.

He said that last month, Aquino called meetings among concerned agencies to determine the cause of unusual movements in the price of prime commodities.

He added that the President has already instructed government agencies, especially the Department of Agriculture (DA), to focus on the supply of goods and their prices in anticipation of the Christmas season.

"Nagpatawag na ang Pangulo ng pagpupulong at mahigpit ang pag-uutos sa lahat ng mga ahensiya, lalung-lalo na ang Department of Agriculture na tutukan ang supply and price situation, lalung-lalo na at padating ng holiday season at tiyak na mag-i-increase ang demand," Coloma said, referring to the supply of pork, chicken, and the usual Noche Buena fare.

As for those who have violated the law by engaging in hoarding and price manipulation, cases have been filed against them, based on the President's instruction, Coloma said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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