MANILA – A bakers group has warned that prices of pan de sal and “Pinoy Tasty” bread may be more expensive by June after the government provisionally raised tariff on imported and cheaper Turkish flour.
To be imposed in addition to the 7 percent regular import duty on flour is a provisional duty of 35 percent on hard flour used for making bread, 39.26 percent on biscuit bread, and 35.21 percent on soft flour, which is used for pastries and cookies.
According to Henry Ah, chairman emeritus of the Filipino-Chinese Bakery Association, pan de sal, which costs P24 for 10 pieces, can go up to P30.
Pinoy Tasty, on the other hand, which sells now at P37 can go up to P40.
Ah said government, particularly the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture, should think twice before pushing through with the tariff increase as this will affect prices of the mass-based pan de sal and Pinoy Tasty.
But DTI Undersecretary Vic Dimagiba assured consumers that prices of these products will not go up as these are not made from Turkish flour but local flour.
Dimagiba said there is no basis to hike prices, and the DTI will not allow any increase at all since based on their study, the impact on price is just minimal.
Meanwhile, community baker Chito Chavez agrees with the stand of the DTI that there is no reason for any increase as most of the bakers do not use Turkish flour in making pan de sal and Pinoy Tasty.
According to Chavez, any announcement of an increase will be bad for the industry reeling from lower consumption due to hotter temperatures and the summer break.