Prices of basic goods up by as high as 13% amid Christmas season —group

Prices of basic goods have increased by 2% to as high as 13% in the past few weeks amid the Christmas season, the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association Inc. said on Monday.

“Ang itinaas around 2% to around, merong as high as 13%, certain items [The increase in the prices of basic goods is around 2% to as high as 13% in certain items],”  the group’s president, Steven Cua, said.

Cua said most of the items with price increases are sugar-related like ready-to-drink beverages, chocolate, jelly, and peanut butter, among others.

He added that more than 20 manufacturers already requested for a price increase, including non-essential items.

“Let’s say 50, 100 items, itinataas nila 20. Inuudlot nila, paunti-unti, ayaw nila maubusan o mawalan ng market share,” he said.

(Let’s say manufacturers have 50 to 100 items, they only want to increase the price for the 20. They were postponing the increase, gradually, because they did not want to lose market share.)

For Noche Buena items, Cua said buyers could opt for cheaper variants of the goods.

“Merong itinaas, siguro mga 13% ang imported fruit cocktail. Ang local hindi tumaas nang ganyan [The price of imported fruit cocktail increased by 13%. The price of local variants did not increase like that.]

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently released a price guide for consumers and retailers in buying Noche Buena products in time for the Christmas season.

Out of the 223 stock keeping units (SKUs) or product variants in the Noche Buena price guide, 195 saw price hikes, two posted price reductions while prices of the remaining eight were unchanged.

Of the 195 that posted an increase, 94 items were hiked by more than 10%, 51 saw a price increase of 6% to 10% while 50 were up by 1% to 5%.

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