The Philippines is planning to import tons of onions to prevent another increase in prices. Import licenses will be issued to private firms to bring in 21,000 tons of onions before the end of the year, according to a statement from the Bureau of Plant Industry on Friday. The measure is to guarantee ample supply amid an expected increase in demand over the holiday period.

The Philippines was forced to import onions earlier this year after prices surged due to a shortage that began in late 2022, with some lawmakers blaming the increase on hoarding and price manipulation by traders. The Southeast Asian nation consumes about 17,000 tons a month.