Prices of commodities expected to go up
THE ripple effect is slowly happening.
AS the oil prices increase in Metro Cebu, two business leaders and a labor organization are now anticipating the eventual increase in the prices of commodities as fuel is a major factor in the logistics and production of goods and services.
“Oil price increase will affect almost everything. Shipping cost will be more expensive, jeepney and bus fares will increase. Manufacturing cost will also go up,” said Robert Go, President of Philippine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter (PRA Cebu).
Go said the effect will not immediately happen but “it will happen” as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law continues to roll out slapping back-to-back increase in the prices of automobiles, fuel and sweetened beverages.
“Oil price increase has little by little trickled on the cost of logistics. Even the fruits in Mantalungon (Dalaguete) will be more expensive to deliver to the markets,” added Go, whose family runs Prince Warehouse Club stores.
But Gerry Avila, Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7) agribusiness and marketing assistance division, said there is minimal impact on the prices of agricultural commodities on a per kilo basis and on the costs of logistics, marketing and storage.
He said increase in the prices of goods is not only due to increase oil prices.
He said price speculators in the market also affect pricing.
“We should note that agricultural products have competitive markets, inelastic demand and substitutability and perishability,” he told Cebu Daily News.
Glenn Anthony Soco, past president of Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), said
“Any changes in oil prices will also affect the prices of other commodities. It (oil price increase) will surely increase the cost of doing business,” he said.
Soco said the business community will closely monitor this increase to make sure that it will not be abused.
Since the increase is inevitable, Soco said they will just make adjustments as they go along their business operations.
In a separate interview, Alan Tanjusay, national spokesperson of Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), said the P2 to P3 per liter increase is a cause of grave concern to all consumers as it means the beginning of high increases in the prices of basic commodities and costs of services needed by workers and their families.
Tanjusay said the government has inadequate safety nets and consumer protection against profiteers and profiteering activities which will result to adverse effects among unemployed and informal workers.
He said they estimate about 30.6 million workers to be adversely affected by the increase in the prices of commodities following the implementation of the Train law.
“We urge the government to make the necessary intervention now before they fall through the cracks,” said Tanjusay.
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