PRICES of meat products that will feature in the traditional Christmas feast are expected to rise by up to 4%, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said, adding that producers are likely to absorb much of the higher operating costs.
Mary Jean T. Pacheco, officer-in-charge of the DTI Consumer Protection Group, said that the department is meeting with producers of items commonly used in the Christmas feast, known as Noche Buena.
“The meat processors said that their production costs increased by 15%-20%,” Ms. Pacheco said in an appearance on government television network PTV on Monday.
She added that the producers will absorb much of the cost increases and seek a “minimal” price increase of up to 4% on some meat products.
She said not all meat products will see a price increase. She added that only some Christmas ham producers are charging more, citing price monitoring reports.
“Our advice is for our consumers to choose the products that fit their budget and their taste,” Ms. Pacheco said.
She added that the DTI will issue a Noche Buena guide containing product and price information.
Separately, Ms. Pacheco said that the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Executive Order 41, which prohibits the collection of pass-through fees on national roads, could be signed within the week.
“The IRR is now going around as there are six government agencies that need to sign it. Hopefully, it could be signed already because we are already done with consultations, we are now at the ‘legal scrubbing’ stage,” she said.
The six government agencies that will have to approve the IRR are: the DTI, the Departments of Finance, the Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways, and Transportation, as well as the Anti-Red Tape Authority.
The DTI has said that the removal of pass-through fees was among the requests of the manufacturers seeking price increases.
“Although logistics is only a certain percentage of the total, we believe that because of the suspension of pass-through fees, the manufacturers will have a reduced burden,” Ms. Pacheco said.
“That is why we always tell the manufacturers to not implement a price increase because the government is trying to do its best to reduce their operating costs,” she added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile