Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has ordered the intensified price monitoring of “noche buena” products in Manila’s public markets to protect consumers as Christmas approaches.
Estrada said he does not want to hear complaints concerning scrupulous vendors and store owners who take advantage of the soaring demand for items served on Christmas Eve and the Yuletide season.
“We will be implementing constant monitoring of the price movements of noche buena products to make sure that the prices will not go far beyond the suggested retail price,” Estrada said.
Estrada noted that at the onset of the “ber” months, the prices of Noche Buena products usually start to go up, in most instances much higher than their suggested retail prices, especially starting November until Christmas Day and New Year.
These items include pasta, cheese balls, canned fruit cocktails, hams, macaroni, spaghetti and tomato sauces, as well as fresh fruits.
With the updated SRP list of Christmas products provided by the Department of Trade and Industry, the city’s Market Administration Office said it has started its stricter daily price monitoring of not only Noche Buena products but also basic commodities such as rice, meat, sugar, coffee, and canned goods.
MAO chief Annie Balboa said market masters in each of the 17 public markets in the city are now under strict instructions to monitor the prices of goods and report unscrupulous vendors and stallholders.
“Based on our daily monitoring, the prevailing prices of Noche Buena products in our public markets remain stable and we intend to keep it that way,” Balboa said.
With the stiff competition posed by big private supermarkets and malls, Balboa explained public market vendors in Manila even lower their prices than the SRP to attract more buyers.
Still, she assured MAO’s inspectors will remain extra vigilant against erring vendors and stallholders taking advantage of the strong demand for Noche Buena commodities.
Balboa said Estrada has reminded them to monitor the markets always.