VENDORS at the Bankerohan Public Market in Davao City are expecting that prices of onions are expected to continue to increase this December.

At present, the prices of red onion are ranging between P300 per kilogram (kg) to P350/kg. Red onions are a common ingredient found in a lot of dishes. It is a crucial ingredient that adds flavor and fragrance to many of the dishes we enjoy during Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) or Media Noche (New Year's Eve).

The vendors said the price would possibly continue to go up due to the low supply of onions and lack of imported onions, which are cheaper than the locally-produced onions.

“Pag local, mahal. Kapag pumasok ang imported, katulad ng India, China, Thailand, P60/kilo (The local variety is expensive but if there is an imported supply from India, China, or Thailand, it’s usually P60/kilo),” one of the vendors interviewed by SunStar Davao said.

Also due to the high demand and limited supply, prices are expected to go up. Vendors pointed out that the prices of onions usually increase in December. However, by January, the prices of onions are expected to drop.

Aside from onions, the Department of Trade and Industry is also expecting that prices of Noche Buena items to increase this year.

“Sa among monitoring, naa na mga items na nag increase pero naa lang siya sa 5 percent, 6.5 percent increase gikan sa iyang previous na price guide (Based on our latest monitoring, there are some items that have increase 5 to 6.5 percent from their previous prices),” Jennifer Glimada, DTI-Davao Price Monitoring Focal Person, said on November 14.

With the spike in prices, it will definitely be a more expensive feast this Christmas. Hence, those who will be preparing meals may have to adjust their recipes to accommodate more affordable ingredients but at the same time keep the quality of their food.

For some families, it shall be a simpler feast this Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

We hope the government will act on the increasing prices of many items, especially food. It is unfair to tell the public to simply tighten their belts. The government has to act fast to prevent the continuous increase in prices. This does not only affect the feast for the holidays but it does affect the daily lives of those who are working hard to make ends meet.

Government officials would really have to put themselves in the shoes of the ordinary Filipino to understand why the increase in food items is having many of us worried.