Noche Buena prices surge amid inflation

2018-10-17 00:00:00

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?Noche Buena? fare could be hit by price hikes of P55
By Elijah Felice Rosales ? October 17, 2018
In Photo: Different brands of pasta are on display in a supermarket in Makati City. Pasta, a staple Christmas Eve fare for most Filipino households, has thus far not seen much of a spike in prices, but a leading consumer group said people should expect price hikes of up to P55 in Noche Buena products this year.
EXPECT price hikes of up to P55 in Noche Buena products this year, as the accelerating inflation could have taken a toll on Christmas food items, according to a consumer group.
In a statement, Laban Konsyumer Inc. reported 141 Noche Buena products among the 216 listed with suggested retail price (SRP) have seen price surges this year as against last year. It added that 53 goods retained their prices and four rolled back, while 17 items were added on the list and three were removed.
Laban Konsyumer said price increases on ham range from P5 to P38.75, while on fruit cocktails, it was P2.25 to P10.75. Further, prices of cheese reportedly surged anywhere from P1.90 to P18.10, and sandwich spread, P0.25 to P9.80.
Queso de bola recorded the highest increase of up to P55; and for mayonnaise, P0.30 to P25.75.
Laban Konsyumer also claimed pasta spaghetti prices went up P0.85 to P4.50 and elbow salad macaroni, P0.95 to P6.50.
It added prices of spaghetti sauce shot up P0.20 to P3 and creamer, P2 to P6.50. Moreover, tomato sauce increased by P0.25 to P5.50, Laban Konsyumer said.
According to the group, prices of flour-based products, such as pasta spaghetti and elbow salad macaroni, remained stable and increases were at the minimum.
Laban Konsyumer also said no branded bread was included in the Noche Buena SRP. It noted, too, that eight new ham and six new spaghetti sauce brands were added on the list. ?Noche Buena products are not basic necessity nor prime commodity. Prices normally soar as we enter the peak of the season in December,? the group argued.
In a text message to reporters, Trade Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo admitted the majority of Noche Buena products with SRP increased prices. However, she noted some brands remained the same, while others even implemented rollbacks.
?SRP on Noche Buena products act as a price guide for the consumers in celebration of the Christmas season. These are not considered as basic necessities and prime commodities as defined in the Price Act,? Castelo said.
?While some of the items in the list increased their SRP, prices of other products remained the same and some decreased,? she added.
Castelo said 66 percent, or 141 of the 216 items in the Noche Buena list saw price hikes this year as against last year. This was the same conclusion arrived at by Laban Konsyumer in its price monitoring report.
On the other hand, Castelo reported 54 items maintained their prices, four products? prices were lowered and seven brands were included in the list. The trade official vowed the prices as recorded now in the SRP will stay until December.
?Demand increases toward December, but consumers can rest assured that prices of products in the Noche Buena products SRP list have been vetted and will remain until the end of the Christmas season,? she said.
Image Credits: Nonie Reyes
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Elijah Felice Rosales
Elijah Felice Rosales is a reporter for the news outfit covering trade and investments. He graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts Major in Literature from the De La Salle University.
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