It’s still not really clear what caused the price to skyrocket. Two months ago, a kilogram of red onions in the Philippines cost 120 to 170 pesos, today it is up to 700 pesos or the equivalent of 12 euros.

Onion inflation is a disaster for the Asian island nation. Because the leek plant is an ingredient in almost all Filipino dishes. The monthly consumption is 17,000 tons. The price increase hurts accordingly. The government has already set up a working group. It is suspected that price manipulation by a criminal organization through artificial scarcity plays a role.

Onions are more expensive than meat in the Philippines today. And that means that citizens on trips abroad stock up on vegetables by the kilo. They bring onions home, especially from Arab countries.

Ten flight attendants from Philippine Airlines did the same. Together they imported 27 kilograms of onions from Dubai and Riyadh. But they were detained at customs in Manila because they could not produce an import permit.

Politicians, however, criticize the customs authorities. Don’t do anything about the criminals who drive up the prices. But they harass flight attendants who stock up abroad for personal needs because onions are so expensive at home.

This article was written by Stefan Eiselin

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The original of this article “Due to price explosion, flight attendants smuggle 27 kilograms of onions” comes from aeroTelegraph.