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‘No price increase for holiday goods’

AJ Bajo

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A total of 134 product lines commonly purchased by consumers for the year-end holidays should still reflect last year’s prices, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

According to the trade agency’s latest suggested retail price (SRP) list, 134 noche buena product lines do not reflect price increases this year, including keso de bola, cheese, sandwich spread, mayonnaise, pasta spaghetti, elbow and salad macaroni, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and creamer products.

Meanwhile, the DTI said six other product lines registered price decreases of as much as P11, including Danes Cheese Ball, Amigo Segurado Spaghetti, La Filipina Spaghetti, Del Monte Filipino Style and Original tomato sauce.

The DTI said premium brand producers would impose minimal increases every year, but brands for mass-based markets “don’t usually change.”

“This is due to their fear of competition and the probability of losing market share in a price sensitive segment,” DTI secretary Ramon Lopez said, Friday.

He added that the agency will ensure value-for-money product and brand options for the incoming holiday season, even as noche buena products are not considered basic necessities and prime commodities, hence, are not under price control.

In addition, the DTI noted that ham manufacturers are making available new sizes for some of their products, to be available in smaller packs and lower prices.

In a Noche Buena SRP list also available on the DTI’s website, the DTI stated that ham products are available for as low as P135 per 500-gram ham (Swift Noche Buena Ham), and as high as P1,025 per 1-kilogram ham (CDO Chinese Ham).

This also comes amid the spread of the swine-killing African swine fever (ASF) in the country, which so far has affected key cities in Luzon recently including Caloocan and Malabon. The ASF scare has dampened consumer sentiment on pork products, although the flu proven fatal to hogs is not seen as a threat to human health.

Meanwhile, 200g to 470ml sandwich spreads are available for P79 to P205. Elbow and salad macaroni sizing 200g to 1kg are available for P18.75 to P98.65, while spaghetti sauce ranging 250g to 1kg can be purchased for P22 to P84.20.

Pasta and spaghetti are available for P19 (200g) to P92.50 (1kg). Keso de bola products are being sold for P169 to P539 for a size range of 300g to 750g, while other cheese products are available for P49.50 (165g) to P269.50 (950g).

Fruit cocktails are available for P50.35 (432g) to P239.40 (3kg), while tomato sauces are being sold for P12.35 to P78.25 for sizes 115g to 1kg.

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