CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - Consumers will have to adjust their planned menus for the traditional Christmas noche buena and New Year's Eve media noche as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced Thursday that majority of Yuletide season staples have increased by as much as 10 percent ahead of the festive holidays.

In a media briefing Wednesday, DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said the prices of Noche Buena items have increased from 10 percent to 27 percent versus a year ago. "The range of price increase compared to 2021 is around 10 percent. The highest increase is 27 percent.

On Wednesday, November 23 after releasing its noche buena price guide, the DTI disclosed in a statement that prices of 195 out of 223 Christmas goods such as ham, fruit cocktail, pasta or spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce, and queso de bola will go up by one to 10 percent. Of this, 94 food products will see a price hike of more than 10 percent. Some 51 items will increase by six to 10 percent, while another 50 products will rise by one to five percent.

The price guide released by the DTI shows that the prices of most spaghetti, elbow macaroni, salad macaroni and spaghetti sauce products went up by more than 10 percent, like a pack of spaghetti pasta now costs between P25.50 and P111, up by P4.50-P27 from a year ago. Spaghetti sauce now retails for P23.55-P95.50, up by P1.55-P14.93, while tomato sauce is now at P17.25-P92.25, up by P1.20-P18.50. Fruit cocktail now costs P56-P288, up by 50 centavos to P33.05 from a year ago, while queso de bola has increased by P10-P56.65 to P199.50-P513.75.

The price of ham now ranges from P163-P892.50, compared to P158-P862.50 last year. Some 13 ham brands have increased prices by one to five percent while seven had a six to 10 percent.

Some manufacturers have advised DTI of an increase of some of their products considering their production cost also increased.

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said “The prices of raw materials have gone up and we need to recognize that. (The price increases are) those (items) with heavy imported components and those that require heavy transportation demand.”

Meanwhile, the Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB) of the DTI said unlike basic necessities and prime commodities included in the suggested retail price bulletin as mandated by the Price Act, it does not regulate or approve prices of noche buena products,

The CPAB added that retailers may have different prices because of the non-regulation of the prices of the Noche Buena products in which there is free market competition. Price adjustments may have already been implemented by some manufacturers even before the guide was released, it furthered.

“The price guide details were surveyed by the CPAB from Noche Buena products manufacturers. The manufacturers stated that these are their prices until the end of the year,” the CPAB said.