Only four out of 11 Noche Buena product categories have price hike petitions, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). These are ham, tomato sauce, pasta and creamer.

“Just a few have requested for price hikes – ham, tomato sauce, pasta, cream,” said DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, who is in-charge of Consumer Protection and Welfare Group. The other Noche Buena products with no request for price increases are fruit cocktail, cheese, sandwich spread, mayonnaise, keso de bola, pasta/spaghetti, and elbow and salad macaroni.

Meanwhile, DTI Assistant Secretary Ann Claire C. Cabochan also said in a radio interview that manufacturers’ requests for price hikes are being evaluated by the Consumer Protection and Welfare Group. She expects the DTI to make an announcement by early next month.

Among the Noche Buena products, Cabochan said she personally think that products affected by the African Swine Flu are the most likely to increase prices. This means that some SKUs for ham products may hike prices.

But Cabochan said DTI will ensure that consumers will have a wide array of choices of ham products with lower price adjustments as opposed to premium brands.

Notably, there are 33 ham brands under the DTI SRP list of Noche Buena products. There are also 12 brands of fruit cocktail; 15 cheese brands; 25 sandwich spread; 19 mayonnaise; 12 keso de bola; 19 pasta/spaghetti; 22 elbow and salad macaroni; 27 spaghetti sauce; 16 tomato sauce; and 6 creamer.

She noted that Noche Buena product manufacturers traditionally ask for price adjustments during the Christmas season, but last year the DTI was able to convince them not raise prices due to the pandemic.

On basic necessities and prime commodities, she said that manufacturers and retailers must observe the SRPs issued by the DTI on August 29 this year. With the extension of the state of public emergency until September 2022, all retailers are expected to comply or be penalized for profiteering.

Source: Manila Bulletin (