PHILSTAR

THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) has received requests to raise prices of products that traditionally feature in the Christmas eve feast, or noche buena.

“We’re just beginning to receive requests for price movement,” Trade Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo said at a briefing Thursday.

She said the department will ask manufacturers to refrain from hiking prices, but the agency is still studying the products’ pricing.

Noche buena products include ham, fruit cocktail, cheese, pasta, sandwich spread, mayonnaise, macaroni, cream and spaghetti and tomato sauce.

The suggested retail prices (SRP) for noche buena products were retained last year after the DTI released the same price list from 2019, although for a limited timeline.

Major brands at the time agreed to keep prices stable due to the economic crisis.

The DTI in its most recent SRP list allowed for price increases in some essential goods and basic necessities such as canned sardines, milk products, and instant noodles.

The main reason behind the hike is the increased cost of raw materials and packaging materials like tin cans, Ms. Castelo said. — Jenina P. Ibañez