CHRIST­MAS IN THE AIR, PRICES GO UP AS WELL

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - by Futch An­thony Inso CORRESPONDENT

As early as now, Su­sana Navarro, 52, is al­ready plan­ning on what to pre­pare for Noche Buena on Christ­mas Eve on December 24, in cel­e­bra­tion for the birth of Je­sus Christ on December 25.

Navarro used to have in her menu spaghetti, mac­a­roni salad and if for­tu­nate enough, a ham. For her and her five chil­dren, this kind of prepa­ra­tion for Noche Buena is a feast.

But with prices of Noche Buena fare ris­ing, Navarro will have none of these de­lec­ta­ble treats com­mon in many Filipino house­holds on Christ­mas Eve.

This year, Navarro is think­ing of just pre­par­ing Filipino desserts or “kakanin” such as biko and gu­la­man due to lack of bud­get.

“I’ll just share what I would pre­pare with our neigh­bors and my rel­a­tives, and maybe, they could also share with me what they will pre­pare for Noche Buena,” Navarro told CEBU DAILY NEWS in Ce­buano.

Aside from this, the De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try in Cen­tral Visayas (DTI-7) has also an­nounced that ma­jor­ity of the prod­ucts – from canned goods to cured meat - have also in­creased in prices com­pared to last year.

Navarro, a solo par­ent rais­ing her chil­dren by sell­ing snacks and re­fresh­ments be­side the street after her hus­band died six years ago, said they will just have to live within their means.

“What is im­por­tant is that we could share some­thing dur­ing the Noche Buena. It doesn’t mat­ter if the food is lux­u­ri­ous or not,” she added.

Mon­i­tored items

Di­nah Gla­dys Oro, DTI-7’s se­nior trade and in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment spe­cial­ist, told CDN that there were around 215 Noche Buena prod­ucts of vary­ing kinds from com­pet­ing brands that were in­cluded in their mon­i­tor­ing this year.

Ma­jor­ity of these prod­ucts have in­creased in prices, due to the high cost of raw ma­te­ri­als and the weak­en­ing of the peso, she re­vealed.

“Es­pe­cially those prod­ucts with im­ported in­gre­di­ents, since the value of the peso has de­clined, the cost of raw ma­te­ri­als has also in­creased,” Oro added.

For in­stance, Oro said that sev­eral brands of ham have in­creased their price by up to three per­cent.

She said that a kilo­gram of a cer­tain vari­ant of ham, which was sold at P525 last year, is sold at P539 this year, or an in­crease of P14.

But one brand brand of ham has also cut its price by up to P6 per kilo­gram, Oro said.

The price of fruit cock­tails, an in­gre­di­ent in mak­ing fruit salad, has also in­creased, rang­ing from P2.25 to P10.75 per can, de­pend­ing on their vari­ants and sizes.

Al­most all brands of spaghetti pasta, how­ever, have not shown any changes in price, ex­cept for one brand, which has in­creased its price by P0.25 to P3.20 per 175-gram pack and 400g pack, re­spec­tively.

There are so far no move­ment in the prices of Queso de Bola, an­other No­cle Buena sta­ple, and mac­a­roni pasta, ac­cord­ing to Oro.

Oro said the DTI has re­leased as early as Oc­to­ber 13 the sug­gested re­tail prices (SRP) for Noche Buena prod­ucts.

In­spec­tion

Last week, the agency has also started in­spect­ing su­per­mar­kets in Cebu City.

“(Dur­ing our in­spec­tion) we have not seen any vi­o­la­tors of our SRP es­pe­cially that the stocks be­ing sold in the mar­ket right now are still old stocks. Maybe by the third or fourth week of Novem­ber, the rise on the price for Noche Buena prod­ucts can al­ready be felt by the con­sumers,” she added.

Oro said that those who will vi­o­late the SRP and who will be caught sell­ing over­priced prod­ucts, will re­ceive a show-cause-or­der from DTI. The erring es­tab­lish­ment will then be re­quired to an­swer it in writ­ing.

“The usual pro­ce­dure is that we is­sue show-cause-or­der, while the es­tab­lish­ment will be or­dered to re­call the items and ad­just its price,” Oro ex­plained.

If the es­tab­lish­ment will con­tinue to vi­o­late the SRP, Oro said they can be fined, with amounts rang­ing from P50,000 to P300,000.

CDN PHOTO/ TONEE DESPOJO

HAPPY KIDS: Christ­mas comes early for the Kythe Foun­da­tion chil­dren who suf­fer from cancer and other chronic ill­nesses after they re­ceive choco­lates from Santa Claus dur­ing the Christ­mas light­ing event at SM City Cebu on Nov. 8, 2018. Marissa Fer­nan (far right), vice pres­i­dent of SM Prime Hold­ings, Inc., stands with the Kythe chil­dren-ben­e­fi­cia­ries of SM City Cebu’s Share a Bear this Christ­mas.

CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MEN­DOZA

HAL­LOWEEN ITEMS OUT, CHRIST­MAS DECORS IN: Stores in down­town Cebu City have re­moved their Hal­loween items and re­placed them with Christ­mas decor as December draws near.

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