THE prices of fruits in Cagayan de Oro City has increased in anticipation of the coming New Year as Filipinos welcome 2018 with the customary 12 round fruits as the centerpiece of the banquet table.
Fruit vendors in Carmen Market said they were forced to increase prices after suppliers raised the prices of their produce.
Among the fruits that are now more expensive are mangos, pineapples, watermelons, grapes, and grapefruits.
The prices for apples and ponkans, meanwhile, stayed the same at P10 per piece and P5 per piece, respectively.
"Ang rason ga-increase is ga-increase pud ang main sa Cogon, wala man mi mahimo gyud (The reason the prices increased is because the prices from the main in Cogon also increased, we can’t do anything about it)," Wiwing, a male fruit vendor, said.
According to Wiwing, the price for their mangoes rose from P120 per kilo to P170; the pineapples, from P25 per kilo to P40.
Another fruit vendor named Julie echoed Wiwing adding that aside from the holiday season, the fruits harvested by their suppliers reduced.
In Julie's fruit stand, mangoes were priced from P180 per kilo to P300; lanzones, an out of season fruit mainly produced in Camiguin, cost P250 per kilo, a 50 percent increase from its original price of P150 per kilo; and pineapple, from P18 per kilo to P30.
Despite the increase in the prices of fruits, the fruit vendors are expecting an influx of customers on Sunday, December 31, which they dubbed as the "rush hour" for customers to buy fruits for the New Year celebration.
"Halinon gihapon [ang mga prutas] bisag mahal (There are still several people purchasing fruits even though they’re expensive)," Imelda, another fruit vendor in Carmen market, said.
In Imelda's fruit stand, the price for a kilo of mangoes increased from P100 to P130; watermelon: from P20 per kilo to P30; and grapes were sold at P400 per kilo.
Imelda said the prices of fruits will eventually go back to normal once the holiday season ends, during the first week of January 2018. (With a report from Cyrill Garcia, USTP intern)
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 31, 2017.