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DTI, manufacturers agree to hold bread, flour prices

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By Janina C. Lim, Reporter

THE Department of Trade and Industry said it has convinced some bread and flour manufacturers to stall price increases until the holiday season.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the commitment was undertaken by members of the Philippine Baking Industry Group.

This means Pinoy Tasty will remain at P35 per 450-gram loaf and Pinoy Pandesal at P21.50 per 250-gram pack.

Meanwhile, Harinang Pinoy, the flour used for the production of these bread brands, will be kept at P670-680 per bag.

“Our mandate is to make sure that manufactured products are kept at reasonable prices. We assure the public that they will always have affordable options for staple items like bread and flour,” Mr. Lopez said in a statement Friday.

PhilBaking members include the producers of Gardenia, French Baker, Uncle George and Tiffany bread.

Meanwhile, Harinang Pinoy is a project with the Philippine Association of Flour Millers (PAFMIL).

PAFMIL Executive Director Ricardo M. Pinca confirmed the group’s yielding to the DTI’s request.

He added that the cutthroat competition in the domestic stage “is tempering upward price movements as the mills fight for market share.”

“There are 21 mills trying to elbow each other out for their piece of the market,” Mr. Pinca said in a text message.

With more affordable options, bread companies have restrained from hiking prices of their brands to maintain their market share, according to the DTI.

As such, bread products like Pinoy Tasty and Pandesal have been declining in price.

In Oct. 2011, a loaf of Pinoy Tasty stood at P38.50 and Pinoy Pandesal, at P25.

Meanwhile, Harinang Pinoy started in 2012 at an original price of P750 per bag.

“The prices of Pinoy Tasty, Pinoy Pandesal, and Harinang Pinoy are even decreasing. I urge the consumers to always choose quality, yet more affordable options when buying products,” Mr. Lopez said.