Philippine News, Ormoc City –– People here eat fruits as a delicious and rich source of healthy sustenance. But what if their market price has reached levels that ordinary people could no longer afford them?
This is a question people now ask as prices of fruits continue to go up in this city after super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) transformed productive farms into desolate spaces. The agriculture sector in this part of the country is still trying to recover, including the fruit growing and selling industry.
Vendors here have been continuously jacking up the prices of most of their commodities because of the dwindling fruit supply reaching Ormoc City.
“Before, we grew our own fruits and vegetables. People could buy fruits here for a very low cost. Vendors even lowered their prices to compete with others. This has now become a thing of the past”, says Luisa Delantar, 36, a local fruit vendor.
“But there is a steady demand for fruits in this city. To fill this need, we are forced to buy from traders supplying from Cebu, Luzon and Mindanao”, Delantar added.
The price of ripe mangoes in this city has risen to between P80.00 to P90.00 per kilo, up from the usual P60.00 to P70.00 before the super typhoon. Bananas here sell nowadays for P70.00 to P85.00 per kilo, up from the usual P40.00 to P60.00.
“We cannot do otherwise. Either we raise the prices or not sell at all”, says Edgar, 27, another local vendor.
The prices retail sellers pay to fruit suppliers for their products are steep because of freight and other overhead costs.
Vendors have to pay for the products that cost more because, at source, suppliers pay laborers and for transport to have these delivered. “So in order for us to earn a little bit, we also increase the prices of what we sell here to recover our capital”, said Edgar.
He hopes for the local supply chain to normalize because, according to him, fruit products for sale costs lower when sourced and abundant locally.
John Alfred Kabalican