MANILA - Makers of hopia, a staple among the Filipino-Chinese community, are banking on tradition to keep their business alive despite higher costs.
Higher duties under the first package of tax reforms is the "biggest challenge" to manufacturers of the pastry, which is especially popular during the Chinese New Year, said Polland Bakery operations manager Lance Tin.
From Jan. 1, taxes were raised on fuel, sugar sweetened drinks and cars to offset lower personal income tax rates. Inflation for the month hit 4 percent, the top end of the government's target range.
Thirty percent of munggo (mung bean) and almost 50 percent of flour used by Polland Bakery are imported, Tin told ANC's Early Edition.
"What the Chinese does before is they give these to Filipinos as a thanksgiving, an exchange, a barter change. That’s how Filipinos came about loving our hopia and we try to keep our hopia as traditional as possible," he said.
"We’re planning to expand our factory. We will be operating more efficiently and we will be serving better and more hopias," he said.