CDA’s Oliva insists study shows ‘cartel’

Cooperative Development Authority administrator Benjie Oliva insisted on Wednesday that a cartel is operating in Bohol causing the fish products’ prices to spike and become costlier compared to other provinces.

Oliva faced the committee hearing of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan last week after he made a statement more than a couple of weeks saying the fish prices in Bohol are expensive since there is a cartel operating.

It has been alleged the cartel may be causing the fish prices to spike.

Oliva attended the meeting in order to clarify his earlier statement to the media.

He said his statement was based on a study made by a group of researchers and backed by several government agencies in 2004 and surveyed the prices of fish in Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

However, Oliva did not reveal the names of the people who are behind the cartel.

The study was also silent about the people behind the alleged cartel group.

A cartel is a group of people who aim to cause an artificial movement in the prices of commodities by manipulating the law of supply and demand.

He said the monopoly of ice plants and distribution networks may contribute in the manipulation of the prices of fish here.

Oliva said he has seen the study while he was a technical assistant of former Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala during the time of former President Benigno Aquino.

He said he got genuine interest in the movement of fish prices and sought to understand why.

He also got involved in validation of the data while he was in the Department of Agriculture.

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