The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Friday released the list of suggested retail prices (SRPs) of “Noche Buena” products for the information and guidance of the consumers as the holiday season nears.
In a statement, the DTI said the SRP guide includes products such as ham, queso de bola, cheese, sandwich spread, mayonnaise, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, all-purpose cream, and pasta—spaghetti noodles, elbow, and salad macaroni variants.
“The DTI thanks the manufacturers for heeding the call not to increase prices demonstrating their sense of solidarity with our consumers this Christmas despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing this, we give wider choices of affordable noche buena products for the Filipino consumers,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
“Our efforts to safely reopen the economy to bring back more jobs while keeping prices relatively stable will make the Christmas season merrier,” Lopez added.
Meanwhile, with Christmas just around the corner, Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is hopeful Filipino consumers would help keep local businesses thrive by purchasing products that are made, designed and developed in the Philippines.
Lacson expressed this proposal in a virtual media forum Thursday, not only in answer to a question about inflation, but also to help micro-, small- and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) rebound from its losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let us patronize products that are ‘Made in the Philippines’ and those (agricultural products) planted in the Philippines. I was watching a news report about groceries, shopping for toys for Christmas, but if you see them, they're all ‘Made in China.’ But our people can make those things, too,” Lacson said.
“Inflation will really rise because when it’s imported, who dictates the prices? Those who manufacture and export (from their countries) to us. But when we are the ones who import our own goods, costs will go down, prices will go down, and inflation will go down,” he added.
The presidential aspirant told reporters that a focus on local manufacturing, buying “Made in the Philippines” and an export-driven mentality will help the country bring down inflation, which hit its highest levels in two years at 4.7-percent in February this year.
Lacson said the country should reduce its reliance on imports, boost its support for MSMEs, and enhance its manufacturing sector to keep prices down and ultimately help Filipinos cope amid multiple crises.
His running mate, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, also repeated their campaign’s warning on excess importation and the reduction of tariffs on commodities such as pork.
Sotto stressed that the government should buy farm products from the country’s agricultural workers, who make up 40 percent of the Filipino workers, to boost both the industry and the farmers and fishermen responsible for 20 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product.
“We need to reduce our being import-dependent. Because if we are too dependent on importation, even our own vegetables, our own agricultural products, we cannot control – we don’t have much control over the prices of our goods,” he said.
Consumer spending traditionally spikes during Christmastime, but around 52 percent or 35.5 million Filipino consumers reined in on their holiday spending habits last year due to the pandemic, according to reports.