Flower prices going up

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TEA light candles sell for P150 per pack of 25 pieces, but battery-operated candles are gaining adherents for their reusability. AFP

With All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day just around the corner, the Dangwa Flower Market in Manila is starting to receive higher than usual volume of flowers of different colors and sizes from Baguio and other parts of the Cordilleras.

Known as the Bulaklakan ng Maynila, Dangwa vendors say they expect a 20 percent increase in the retail and wholesale prices of flowers due to increased demand by people who will be offering flowers to their dearly departed relatives come 1 to 2 of November.

At present, roses sell for P200 and Malaysian mums P150 to P200 by the dozen, while tulips and stargazers sell for P100 and P130 per piece, respectively, in the center of flower trade in Metro Manila.

Several individually-owned stalls and street vendors, most of whom are members of the Dangwa Flower Market Association, sell flowers 50 percent to 90 percent cheaper than in Metro Manila’s flower shops.

“Even if there’s a mark-up due to higher transportation cost, we still sell flowers here at Dangwa way cheaper than the flower shops,” said flower vendor Lulu.

“After all, most flower shops get their supply from us. It would be cheaper if not for the high prices of fuel these days,” she added.

By the bundle, gerbera and carnation can be had from P180 to P200 while anthurium sells at a premium at P400.

Dangwa vendors told the Daily Tribune that the good weather in the past few weeks meant that the supply of cut flowers from Northern Luzon is also good in time for Halloween.

The center of the flower trade in Dangwa is at Dos Castillas Street, extending to Dimasalang Road and other streets like Maria Clara and Lacson.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had warned vendors of candles to follow the suggested retail price it imposed on the commodity whose sale is expected to explode in time with people trooping to cemeteries.

In the flea markets in Divisoria, Manila, long customer lines had been observed in shops selling candles wholesale and retail.

At present, the following candle prices prevail in Manila’s center of cheap goods, all depending on the sizes: esperma, P40 to P195; vigil, P60 to P70; glass, P60 to P150; 7 days, P100 to P150; scented, P150 to P180; tea light, P150 per 25 pieces.

Despite the DTI warning, candle manufacturers said a 10 to 15 percent increase in the prices of their products should be expected due higher cost of materials.

With the price of real candles beyond the reach of poor Filipinos, Divisoria vendors said battery-operated candles are selling briskly from P30 to P150 depending on the size.

“They already come with batteries and are reusable as decorative items in the house. So battery-operated candles are seen as good replacements for real candles,” said candle seller Tony Escano.

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