Cebu News

Consumers told to compare prices, quality: Noche Buena items costlier

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  A week before December kicks in, the prices of common Noche Buena items are seeing an increase based on the monitoring of the Department of Trade and Industry.

DTI-Cebu senior trade and industry development specialist Dinah Gladys Oro disclosed yesterday that their national office just approved the increase in prices of 195 out of 223 stock-keeping units (SKUs), including Noche Buena products. An SKU is a specific type of product.

“Naa gyud silay increases, for the information of everybody. Kahibaw man gyud ta nga ang atong mga presyo nisaka man gyud. Apektado sad atong mga Noche Buena products,” Oro said.

DTI has released a price guide for Noche Buena products, including ham, fruit cocktail, cheese, keso de bola, mayonnaise, sandwich spread, spaghetti pasta, salad macaroni, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and cream or all-purpose cream.

The agency explained that since Noche Buena products are not basic or prime commodities, it released a price guide for consumers to be able to compare.

“Para they will be guided kung unsa nga mga Noche Buena products ilang angay paliton ug asa sad sila makapalit nga competitive ang presyo and quality pud ang product,” said Oro.

DTI is seeing an increase in the prices of ham, although not across all brands.

“Sa hams, naay nag-decrease by P30 while ang uban ni-increase sab up to P42 comparing to last year’s presyo,” said Oro. The suggested retail prices for ham range from P168 to P892.50 depending on the brand.

Other products listed in the DTI-released price guide, however, were noted to have increased.

Fruit cocktail, which is one of the main ingredients for fruit salad, increased by 50 centavos to as high as P33.05, while cheese increased from P3 to P21, depending on the brand. Spaghetti and macaroni increased from P4.50 to as much as P27.

Quezo de bola’s increase is between P10 to P56.65; mayonnaise, from P0.60 to P23.45; sandwich spread, from P1.05 to P13.16; and all-purpose cream, from P3 to P16.

There are also eight Noche Buena items that have kept their 2021 prices accordingly, but Oro said they still have to check what these items are as they just received the information from the central office.

Oro said the price increase is expected mainly due to the global oil price hike that also caused the prices of raw products to increase, as well as the transportation expenses.

“We know nga tungod sa global oil price hike, raw materials also increase… Kasagaran product ang raw materials are also imported… Production cost, overhead expenses taas pud. Also those that need transportation so tanan, saka pud,” Oro explained.

Oro, however, said DTI is working hard to negotiate with manufacturers to make the increases reasonable enough.

Choose Wisely

Amid such price hikes, the agency still encourages consumers to “exercise the right to choose.”

“Atong awhagon atong mga consumers, especially karon Noche Buena nga mosuroy sa sila, mo-canvass… We have to canvass prices and we have to compare quality. Let us exercise our right to choose,” said Oro.

She also reminded consumers that in case of price differences between that on the shelf and that on the price tag, it’s always the “lowest price that prevails”.

Expiration dates and translation of foreign languages to product information should also be checked, she added.

DTI has a consumer care hotline for complaints while poultry and meat products as well as vegetables and fruits are under the Department of Agriculture. — JMD (FREEMAN)

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