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The garlic story

Although the lowly garlic is believed to have supernatural powers against vampires and witches, it appears to be powerless in warding off price hikes. In supermarkets across the nation, the culinary staple in Filipino kitchens has reached a price of P300 per kilo. Meanwhile, the prices of other basic commodities like rice, ginger, and sugar, are also skyrocketing.

But while the spike in prices is surprising, what is even more shocking is this: no one seems to be able to give a definite explanation on why the situation is even happening.

Some reports say that there is price manipulation or hoarding. Others argue that it could be due to the lessened number of colorum buses that make transporting goods expensive and difficult. Still some claim that the cost is affected by the global price of the commodity, while others theorize that a sudden rise in the population could have strained the supply.

If the confusion on the garlic issue is not enough to make one’s head spin, perhaps this would: the administration, which has made it its trademark to pass the blame on anything other than itself, is not doing enough to even remotely solve the problem. Their weapon of choice against the price spike happens to be rolling stores, which supposedly sell cheaper garlic. However, as they are only available in selected parts of Metro Manila, they cannot possibly address a problem that the entire nation is facing.

Of course, with the upcoming State of the Nation address, the government chooses to focus on the arrest of three senators, while protecting the President’s allies who are facing the same accusations. After all, it needs to have a semblance of having actually achieved something big—something that may distract people from its promise last year that the supply of basic commodities is adequate, enough even, for export.

The government, however, cannot keep playing deaf to the cries of hungry Filipinos. Unfortunately for them, it may be more difficult to silence rumbling stomachs than to quell protests against the DAP and PDAF scams.

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