MANILA, Philippines – As inflation continues to rise this yuletide season, consumers must brace for pricier Noche Buena celebrations.
On Wednesday, November 23, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) released its suggested retail price (SRP) guide of common Noche Buena products. Of those, 195 out of 223 Noche Buena products in the list raised prices, with nearly half climbing by more than 10%.
Only two products decreased in price, and eight products had no change. The DTI also began monitoring 18 new products.
Here’s a breakdown of how the product prices have changed:
The DTI monitored prices for ham, fruit cocktail, cheese, keso de bola, mayonnaise, sandwich spread, pasta, elbow macaroni, salad macaroni, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and cream.
Among these, salad macaroni prices have risen the steepest, with the lowest SRP up by 44%. Pasta prices have also gone up by 34%, mayonnaise by 26%, and tomato sauce by 24%.
Here’s a comparison of the lowest prices per product in 2021 and 2022:
Noche Buena products are not considered basic necessities and prime commodities under the Republic Act (R.A.) No. 75181, as amended by R.A. No. 10623. This means that government agencies cannot set price ceilings to control their prices.
Make premium brands carry “heavier share”
In a chance interview at the Stratbase Pilipinas conference on November 22, DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual said he has asked food manufacturers to limit raising prices on mass market goods and instead move the burden on premium brands.
“Prices of raw materials have gone up, and we have to recognize that. But we try to mitigate the amount of increases,” he said.
“If a manufacturer produces a range of products that cater to various income classes of society, they can distribute the contribution to overhead and profit across not uniformly in percentage terms, so that the burden on the goods that are for the low income families will bear a smaller part and the premium brands for the same product line could carry heavier share of the burden for overhead and profit,” Pascual said.
The trade secretary was also positive that consumers could weather the increased prices of Noche Buena products.
“Alam mo naman, during this period, may mga extra pays, ’di ba? May 14th month pay, meron bonuses. Kakayanin,” he said. – Rappler.com