Press Release
December 7, 2006


Prices of consumer goods have remained stable for the past three months, and are expected to be stable until Christmas.

Despite this, Senator MAR Roxas sees that Christmas will be slow for businesses, both retailers and producers.

"Mananatiling matumal ang kalagayan ng pagnenegosyo... Hanggang sa ngayon ay wala silang nararamdaman na demand at, in fact, pabawas ang mga imbentaryo na hinahanda nila dahila sa ang ekspektasyon nila ay makukulangan na ng demand sa darating na pasko," he said.

("Business will remain slow... Until now, they do not feel any demand and, in fact, they have been reducing the inventories they are preparing because they expect less demand this Christmas," he said)

The Senator, who is Chairman of the Senate Committees on Trade and Commerce and on Economic Affairs, made these observations after a price monitoring hearing last Monday. The hearing was attended by the Trade and Agriculture Departments, other government agencies, and industry and consumer groups.

He said industry groups representing chicken and pork producers, meat canners and retailers have told the committee that there is sufficient supply for consumer products such as pork meat, canned goods, milk, among others.

"So we expect the Christmas season will continue to have stabilized prices, at sa mga manininda naman ay regular naman o kaya matumal (and for retailers, business will be regular or slow)," he said.

He however said supply of chicken might be tight, as around 700,000 heads of chicken in Bicol have been killed by supertyphoon Reming. He however said that excess inventories in other regions may pad the supply gap in Bicol region.

Nonetheless, the tight supply may possibly continue until next year as many chicken producers have culled their breeders, he said.

Another problem brought about by the supertyphoon Reming is price surges in construction goods in Bicol, Roxas said.

During the hearing, Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said prices of GI sheets have doubled. Perpetrators, she said, have already been charged for profiteering.

She addd that they are talking to manufacturers and wholesalers of construction materials to increase shipments to Bicol. She said there seem to be no roadblocks to the continuous flow of goods.

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