The Philippine government’s trade and industry department has urged manufacturers and retailers of Noche Buena products to maintain their current prices for the upcoming Christmas holiday.
During the Laging Handa public briefing Thursday, DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said keeping prices of these products will be a relief for Filipinos who will be celebrating the Christmas season in a pandemic for two straight years.
“We call on manufacturers not to increase prices of Christmas products this year. Or if they need to increase, only at the absolute minimum level,” she said in Filipino.
Castelo said the agency last year also convinced suppliers of these products to maintain their 2019 suggested retail prices (SRPs).
The official said DTI is expected to issue the SRP list for Noche Buena products by the end of October to early November.
Meanwhile, Castelo said the new SRP list of basic goods released last August 29 is effective immediately.
“We have 76 out 216 items in the SRP bulletin that increased their prices,” she added.
These products include canned goods, instant noodles, coffee, milk, condiments, and non-food items like detergent soap.
Castelo said the price increments range from PHP0.20 to PHP1, which are the absolute minimum increase.
However, she said one corned beef brand raised its price by PHP2.75 because the manufacturer has a pending request for price increase in 2019 but the DTI did not approve the increment until last month.
“We also have to understand the manufacturers because they have been requesting for this for the last two years. We have received a lot of requests to increase prices from 2019 and some pending requests were dated back 2018. We did not allow them before because of the inflation,” Castelo added.
She assured consumers that the agency monitors prices of basic and prime commodities every day and immediately issues a letter of inquiry for reported increases beyond the SRP list.