Noy wants case vs garlic cartel
Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has directed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop a case against the cartel responsible for the steep increase in the prices of garlic in the middle of the year and looks forward to “charges being filed sooner.”

In a speech read by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima at the 1st National Competition Conference at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, Aquino said the Office for Competition (OFC) under the DOJ is responsible for investigating the staggering 74 percent increase in the price of garlic from June 2013 to June 2014.

According to Aquino, the OFC discovered that the drastic increase in garlic prices could not be attributed to a shortage in supply, but rather to a single group that was on the receiving end of import permits, allowing them to corner supply and dictate the prices of garlic.

This initial report allowed authorities to look into more anomalous transactions and in light of their findings, the President ordered the DOJ to develop a case against the cartel.

“These are the kinds of crooked practices and systems we want to abolish. The kind of persons that we want to catch and hold accountable for taking advantage of decent, hardworking Filipinos,” the President said.

Aquino added that competition policies are one of the ways to protect the interest of people, specifically their rights as consumers.

“Honest competition in the market ensures that companies continue to seek ways to improve on their products and services in order to gain an edge over their competitors,” he explained.

The President said the playing field could only be considered truly leveled when a company’s share of the market was determined primarily by their ability to innovate and by their drive to provide the best quality services and products at a right price. “Unfortunately, that is not always the case.”

AQUINO COMPETITION DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE GARLIC JUSTICE SECRETARY LEILA NATIONAL COMPETITION CONFERENCE PASAY CITY PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER PRESIDENT PRESIDENT AQUINO
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