THE Department of Trade Industry (DTI) said the supply of items typically served in the Christmas feast — known in the Philippines as Noche Buena — will be adequate until the end of the holidays.

The DTI released this assessment of supply-demand conditions after meeting with the manufacturers on Monday.

“As part of our commitment to ensure that Noche Buena items remain affordable and of good quality this holiday season, we are intensifying our price monitoring efforts all over the country,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said in a statement on Wednesday.  

“Through this meeting with manufacturers, we aim to assure consumers that the DTI remains at the forefront of ensuring that the rights of consumers are protected,” he added.

The meeting was initially called to address reports of certain Christmas food products being sold above the prices indicated in the DTI’s Noche Buena price guide.

These include the Edam-style cheese product known as queso de bola, fruit cocktail, ham, all-purpose cream, and mayonnaise, the DTI said.

“In response, the manufacturers agreed to verify with their retail partners to address this concern,” the department said. 

“Further, some manufacturers in the meeting committed to intensify their own price and supply monitoring efforts to ensure that their products are sold in accordance with the Noche Buena price guide until the end of the year,” it added.

The DTI said manufacturers had confirmed the sufficiency of supply of Noche Buena items at a previous meeting.

“The manufacturers assured DTI of the sufficient supply and stability of prices during their meeting held on Nov. 7 prior to the release of the price guide,” the department said.

Mr. Pascual also called on manufacturers and retailers to adhere to the price guide, adding: “That is what the price guide is for — that consumers will be informed so they may exercise their right to choose.”

“I also instructed our price monitors to ramp up their activities,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile