MANILA - Last minute shopping and the return of the Metro Manila truck ban could lead to pricier Noche Buena items before Christmas, a local supermarkets association said Friday.
Steven Cua, president of Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association, told Teleradyo the truck ban starting Dec. 14 may prompt suppliers to increase prices of basic and prime commodities due to limited windows for deliveries.
This will also in effect hike retail prices in supermarkets, he added.
Continuing relief efforts to areas affected by the typhoons are also contributing to lower supply of goods, Cua noted.
Sending Christmas gifts is also slower as meet ups are limited, with more people opting for "virtual gifts" for their inaanak and loved ones.
Despite price increases, consumers are still seen to flock supermarkets "3 to 4 days before Christmas" to purchase food items for Noche Buena feast, Cua said.
He advised the public to buy at the earliest time possible to avoid higher prices, shortages in items, and the spread of coronavirus.
"Yun lang ang potential problem pag nag sabay-sabay last minute, hindi distributed sa mga lugar. Pag sabay sabay sa iilang lugar, may mga areas na kukulangin. At maaaring tumaas ang presyo ng mga kinulang," he said.
(Last-minute shopping poses a potential problem. Other areas may have shortage in food items. For those areas and items, prices may go higher.)