Bakers eye P3.50-P4.50 increases, fuel cost up as much as P1.90/L
Consumers face a price increase of at least P4.50 for a loaf of Pinoy Tasty and P3.50 for a pack of Pinoy Pandesal by February 1.
The Philippine Baking Industry Group, which said it has experienced an increase in flour prices following a rise in demand, has asked the Trade and Industry Department if they could increase their prices.
The increases, PhilBaking President Johnlu Koa said, would come in two steps: the first half on February 1, and the other half on April 4.
Koa said bread prices would be reduced if flour prices would ease.
Earlier, Koa said flour prices have already gone up from P710 per sack to P995 currently.
Currently, Pinoy Tasty is sold at P35 per pack, while Pinoy Pandesal is sold at P21.50 per 10 pieces.
Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said the government already expected the price hike petition since bread makers have been holding off on doing so since last year.
Community bakers added there were other factors behind the price hike petition, such as rising LPG and power costs.
Oil prices are expected to go up again this week – the fourth consecutive week this year that fuel prices will increase.
Unioil Petroleum Philippines said based on its fuel price projections for January 25 to January 31, the price per liter of diesel might increase by P1.80 to P1.90, while gasoline prices are seen to rise by P1.40 to P1.50 per liter.
As of January 11, year-to-date adjustments of prices stand at a net increase of P2.60 per liter for gasoline, P3.50 per liter for diesel, and P2.74 per liter for kerosene, data from the Department of Energy showed.
Crude prices started on a bullish tone this year as the market saw limited impact on demand recovery from the Omicron coronavirus variant, according to the Department of Energy’s monitoring.
The gas and diesel market also got a boost from the sudden ban in coal exports by Indonesia, as Asian utility producers could possibly be switching to gas oil to cover the coal-fired power generation shortfall.
Meanwhile, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate on Sunday urged the House leadership to expedite the passage of House Bill 10386 or the Unbundling of Fuel Prices Bill in a bid to make the pricing scheme transparent.
“Congress should hasten the passage of House Bill 10386 so that consumers would finally see the oil pricing processes. This is all in the spirit of transparency since the country is still under a pandemic and every peso means so much more, especially to ordinary already economically burdened consumers,” he said.
The unbundling bill must also go hand in hand with the pending consolidated bill suspending the excise tax on oil products for six months, Zarate said.
“Price increases continue to go up but the government has not taken action. In the midst of this crisis aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic gravely affecting our people, especially the poor, we strongly urge the Department of Energy to be more proactive and support this bill. They can even lobby to the president to classify this legislation as urgent along with other bills that would stop or at least mitigate oil price hikes,” Zarate said.