Sardines price to increase amid rising fuel costs: DTI

·Contributor
·2 min read
A bouquet of canned sardines and instant noodles are displayed for sale at a flower shop in Dangwa Flower Market in Manila, Philippines, February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
A bouquet of canned sardines and instant noodles are displayed for sale at a flower shop in Dangwa Flower Market in Manila, Philippines, February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

Prices of Filipino household staple canned sardines may soon rise as sardines manufacturers request raising prices citing fuel costs, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Monday (March 14).

According to DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, they have already received a request from one sardines manufacturer to raise prices.

“We are currently studying it, and we have already also communicated with them that we will, of course, have to first verify the info we received and then negotiate with them later on,” Castelo said.

However, price hikes for canned sardines will not take effect immediately after approval, Castello added.

The Canned Sardines Association of the Philippines (CSAP) has also urged and met DTI on March 11 to raise the suggested retail prices for sardine products.

“We understand that the DTI needs to do a balancing act for both the manufacturers and the consumers. However, we are concerned that another round of fuel price hikes would drive up production costs by 3.5 percent,” CSAP Executive Director Francisco Buencamino said in a statement.

Meanwhile, bakers and bread manufacturers have yet to ask for the agency for a price increase as supplies of wheat have already been secured for at least 3 months.

Flour millers have already received enough supplies for a month, and have already paid for shipments for the next two months, DTI noted.

Bread prices have also been allowed to increase earlier this year.

"We increased the price of Pinoy tasty by P3.50 last January, and then P2.50 for Pinoy Pandesal. This is a very recent increase. We will have to receive another request from Phil Baking before we make another price adjustment,” Castelo said.

The trade agency is yet to release an updated SRPs of basic necessities and prime commodities after its latest release on January 27.

In a briefing Thursday, DTI Consumer Protection Group Assistant Secretary Ann Claire Cabochan said that they have become more strict in monitoring SRPs of goods listed in their SRP bulletin.

“Any increase will only become effective upon publication by DTI of that SRP bulletin,” DTI said, adding that they are still studying whether they will release a new SRP bulletin.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez on March 16 said that the government plans to cut taxes on food imports to curb broad price hikes.

The government last year lowered tariffs on pork and rice imports which was widely opposed by the agricultural sector as the country’s farmers lose billions due to its effect on the market.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. The views expressed are her own.

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