Prices of over 150 Noche Buena products rise: DTI

A mall goer walks by a pile of Noche Buena set sold at a supermarket in Davao City on Wednesday. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said there is a noticeable price increase in over 150 Noche Buena products ahead of Christmas holidays. LEAN DAVAL JR
A mall goer walks by a pile of Noche Buena set sold at a supermarket in Davao City on Wednesday. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said there is a noticeable price increase in over 150 Noche Buena products ahead of Christmas holidays. LEAN DAVAL JR

The Noche Buena price guide will be released on Wednesday ahead of the holiday season, with a noticeable price increase in over 150 shelf keeping units (SKUs), Department of Trade and Industry-Consumer Protection Group (DTI-CPG) Assistant Secretary Amanda Marie Nograles said.

In a press conference in Makati City Tuesday, Nograles said 83 Noche Buena items out of 240 SKUs have minimal price increases ranging from 1 to 5 percent; 37 SKUs have raised their prices by 6 to 10 percent; and 32 SKUs have hiked prices by more than 10 percent.

“There are various reasons for the increase, such as the increasing prices of raw materials, packaging materials, labor, power and distribution cost, according to the manufacturers,” Nograles said.

She said keso de bola had the largest increase in prices in this year’s Noche Buena price guide, which is about PHP49 higher than the retail price in the previous price bulletin.

While prices of majority of the Noche Buena items increased, Nograles said 34 SKUs did not change their prices while costs of 21 items declined.

“This is effective immediately until Dec. 31, 2023,” she added.

DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual said the Noche Buena price guide operates differently from the suggested retail price (SRP) bulletin of the agency.

“This is really a guide to help the consumers to decide what brand to buy, for example,” Pascual said.

He added the items in the Noche Buena price guide are not among the basic necessities and prime commodities listed in the Price Act.

Products listed in the Noche Buena price guide include ham, fruit cocktail, cheese, keso de bola, mayonnaise, sandwich spread, pasta/spaghetti, elbow macaroni, salad macaroni, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and creamer/all-purpose cream.

“These prices are the suggested retail prices by manufacturers for their products. The way this will operate, if there are retailers that are selling higher than what the manufacturers have specified, and our monitors are able to detect this deviation, we will call the attention of the manufacturers so the manufacturers will help to take care dealing with the retailer selling their products higher than their suggested retail price,” Pascual said.

“This is not like SRP, where DTI takes action against the retailer by giving letter or notice of inquiry, for example,” he added.

Moreover, the DTI officials urged consumers to examine the expiry date and price tag of Noche Buena products before purchasing them.

The DTI-Regional Operations Group will also help in monitoring if retailers are following the Noche Buena price guide. (PNA)

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