Saturday, September 22, 2018

Vendors, customers bearing the brunt

LAZY DAY. With high prices of goods these days, there seems nothing much to do for this fish vendor but sleep. (SunStar foto / Arni Aclao)

THE 6.3 percent inflation rate in Central Visayas has sparked different comments not just from producers but also consumers.

“Way halin tungod sa kamahal. Mingaw gyod kaayo (It’s so expensive we’re not getting any customers),” said Myrna Degoma, a vegetable vendor at the Carbon Public Market.

Since the start of classes last June, the prices of vegetables have increased. At present, the increase is estimated at 50 percent.

Degoma said the malunggay which could be bought for P20 before, is now sold at P70. This is what disappoints her customers.

Due to the increase, the profit Degoma gets from each sale is only P5 to P10 unlike before when profit was between P20 to P25.

“Mangita man og barato ang customer (The customer prefers something cheap),” said Degoma.

Alec Rosales, another vegetable vendor, said the high inflation rate has a big effect on his business, especially in maintaining his capital.

Instead of borrowing P5,000 from 5-6 financiers, Rosales borrows P10,000 to maintain his capital since it is hard to continue his business now that the prices of basic commodities have increased. He said the price of his bombay onions has increased from P60 to P120.

Some vegetable vendors blamed the high inflation rate to the weather. Among them is Merly Comaling, who said that the unstable weather has caused the low production of vegetables, resulting in price increases. Comaling said the demand for vegetable is high but the supply is low.

Ed Ramos, a rice vendor, said that their sale of commercial rice has decreased due to the increase of price.

Ramos said that customers now opt for National Food Authority (NFA) rice because it is more affordable than the commercial rice.

Ramos said that out of 100 percent, only 20 percent of his customers buy commercial rice, the 80 percent choose NFA.

Another rice vendor is Nelia Lequigan, who said that the rise of price in her products worried her.

She said that last month, one kilo of commercial rice sold for P48, now it sells for P54. The increase for a sack, or 50 kilos, of commercial rice ranges from P150 to P200.

Nick Roble, a fish vendor, said the number of his customers has decreased after the prices of his fish increased by P50, P40 or P30, depending on the fish type.

“Usahay alkansi. Di mahalin tungod sa kamahal (The prices are scaring the customers away),” said Roble.

Ediza Pepino, another fish vendor, shared the same concern. She said her profit for a kilo of fish is only P20.

The buyers, too, are affected.

Josephine Padilla, a buyer in Carbon market, said that instead of buying one kilo of vegetables she now buys one-fourth to half a kilo.

“Ang P1,000 sa una daghan pa ang mapalit, pero karon gamay na lamang tungod sa inflation (There’s nothing much to buy with your P1,000 these days),” she said.

She said that to save money, she buys basic commodities in a public market because she can buy more than when she goes to the mall.

Emilyn Orbasido, a regular customer in Carbon market, noticed a big difference between the prices of goods between this month and last month.

To cope with the change, she adjusted her budget. (USJ-R Intern Mary Ruth Malinao)