Onions cheaper even in Switzerland than in PH
DAVOS, Switzerland — In this ski resort town that hosts the annual gathering of the so-called global elites in the annual World Economic Forum (WEF), onions in grocery stores cost less than a third of their price in the Philippines.
The droves of upscale winter holidaymakers may not be interested in the costly onions in the Philippines but at a branch of Coop, one of Switzerland’s largest retail and wholesale companies, one can buy half a kilogram of white onions for 1.40 Swiss francs, or P83 pesos, or about P166 per kilogram.
A mixed bundle of red and white onions can be bought for 2.50 francs, or an equivalent of P148.55 per 600 grams.
A bigger 1.5-kilo bunch of mixed red and white onions costs 2.50 francs, or P148.55. Meanwhile, garlic here is selling for 3.25 Swiss francs, equivalent to about P193 per 150 grams, while eggs are selling for 5.10 francs or an equivalent of P303 per dozen.
In the Philippines, onions are selling for as much as P600 per kilogram.
The spiraling prices of onions, which now cost more than beef, have been attributed to a confluence of a production shortfall, smuggling, and hoarding.
It’s a reality check for Filipinos visiting this wintry town at the foot of the Swiss Alps, where President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is leading a powerhouse delegation of Cabinet members, senior officials, lawmakers, and business tycoons in the WEF.
The WEF gathers heads of state, political leaders, and global business and industry top brass to discuss solutions to global political and socioeconomic problems.
Marcos is the first Philippine head of state to participate in the forum in 10 years.
High food prices have contributed to the inflation rate in the Philippines, spiking to a 14-year high of 8.1 percent as of December 2022.
Rising inflation is a key concern for the global community at a time when the global economy is expected to enter a recession this year.
Chief economists surveyed by the WEF see significant variations across regions, with the proportion expecting high inflation in 2023, ranging from just 5 percent for China to 57 percent for Europe.
Following a year of sharp and coordinated central bank tightening, these experts said 2023 would likely involve a difficult balancing act for policymakers between tightening too much or too little.
President Marcos, who is concurrently the secretary of the Department of Agriculture, has authorized a calibrated importation of onions.
He has also vowed to crack down on smugglers and hoarders, as well as provide long-term support to local farmers.
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