Prices of basic, prime goods expected to increase by January – DTI

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 5) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Monday said costs of basic necessities and prime commodities are expected to increase by January next year.

“We are looking at early part of next year, maybe middle of January towards the end,” DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

Castelo said up to 50 items will see an increase in their prices by as much as 10%.

This will include items like canned sardines, processed milk (condensed and evaporated), coffee, bread, instant noodles, condiments (salt, soy sauce, vinegar), detergent soap, bath soap, canned meat, and batteries, she noted.

The official explained these are items that were not included in the suggested retail price bulletin issued by the DTI in August, and whose proposed increases were already reviewed. The department only allows price increases in 40-50 items at a time to give consumers more affordable choices, she noted.

Castelo said this will also prevent manufacturers from trimming down production or retrenching employees to address the increase in cost of raw materials, which will be bad too for the economy and the consumers.

For now, the DTI official said the prices of items listed in the August bulletin will no longer move until the end of the year.

“We have around 218 products in our bulletin, different brands, different variants, different volume, hindi sila muna gagalaw (they will not move) this Christmas,” she said.

This was after DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual decided that a price bulletin will only be issued early next year after manufacturers submit a more detailed production cost, she noted.

Meanwhile, Castelo assured consumers that they are continuously monitoring the price of Noche Buena items after the department recorded spikes in at least 12 items.

“For Christmas products, we expect some items to decrease their prices getting closer to Christmas,” she noted.