AGRICULTURAL GOODS such as sugar and white onion that have been seized from hoarders will likely be distributed to markets, an agriculture official said.

“We see from our investigations that there is a lot of sugar in Quezon City, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon. (There is no) artificial shortage, the sugar is being hoarded. That will probably be confiscated and distributed in supermarkets and to small sellers so they can be bought at a cheap price,” Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban said in an interview on PTV on Wednesday.

For white onion, Mr. Panganiban said that the government is still consolidating data to determine whether there is a shortage or not.

“There were nine trucks caught in Misamis Oriental. The Bureau of Customs (is determining) if they were smuggled or not. We will distribute that in markets so consumers can buy them,” he said.

Mr. Panganiban said that the DA is working on subsidies and land allocation to support salt making by fisherfolk.

“If we have more area for salt making, it will (reduce the need for) imports… we must help our fisherfolk, who are producing salt for the entire country, especially in Occidental Mindoro and Central Luzon and Pangasinan,” he said.

“It will take maybe another two to three years before we stabilize our salt (supply). We should start this second half of 2022 to distribute money to our fisherfolk producing salt so we can increase (the area devoted to production),” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson