Metro bakeries raise prices of pan de sal
By JORGE CARIÑO
It’s 5:30 a.m. and a store helper in Sampaloc, Manila is trying to start the morning right by speaking in an apologetic voice about the increase in the price of pan de sal. “Pan de sal is now worth P2.50," she tells her customers.
Thankfully, nobody complains. “Talagang ganun, tataas yata talaga lahat ng bilihin,” says Juliet Decena, a regular customer of Tinapayan Festival, a community bakeshop at the corner of Dapitan and Don Quixote streets.
The scene is a familiar one on Tuesday morning as bakeries imposed a 5%-10 % increase in prices of bread.
Bakers earlier warned that the continuing rise of world flour prices pressured them to increase the price of pan de sal. Aside from flour, baking products such as yeast, margarine, lard and dairy products are not produced locally but are imported from other countries.
Chito Chavez, president of the Philippine Federation of Bakers Association, said the decision to raise prices of pan de sal was a difficult one to make.
“Pan de sal is the cheapest and the quickest breakfast for Filipinos,” he said.
He said they were compelled to raise prices after prices of 25-kilo flour bags went up from P510 last December to P950 this month.
Chavez said the greater challenge for bakers is how the public will accept the price increase. He said bakers are avoiding a scenario where customers can no longer afford to buy the P2.50 pan de sal.
To strike a balance, he said he made his pan de sal bigger at 40 grams each compared to the usual 32 grams. "That way, my regular customers won't feel too bad about the price," he said.
The Philippine Federation of Bakers Association is set to meet the National Price Control Council at the office of the Department of Justice in Padre Faura Avenue in Manila Tuesday morning.
Before the meeting, Chavez smoked a cigarette in an effort to hide his anxiety. “I just hope that the President doesn't ask us to roll back the price of pan de sal," he said.