The new normal for bread from the local bakeries?

Have you been paying more for pandesal at your local bakery? In my experience, I love the pandesal of Mang Pandesal located along Tropical Avenue, BF International in Las Piñas City.  When I first visited them in 2019, they sold pieces of pandesal at P2 each. That is no longer the case anymore. Two days ago, I visited Mang Pandesal ang bought 20 pieces of pandesal at P2.50 each. That’s a total of P50.

Do the math, P2.50 is a notable increase of 25% over the previous price of P2 per pandesal which lasted for years at Mang Pandesal. While I still will buy pandesal from Mang Pandesal (note: they’re still the best in the BF Homes community), I am more conscious about how many pieces to buy each time I visit them.

Even as our country continues to struggle to recover from the COVID-19 crisis socially and economically, we have no choice but to face the new normal of bread from the local bakeries…a new normal of higher prices and/or smaller sizes of bread. There are both internal and external economic forces that have been affecting the many local bakeries around the Philippines. High fuel prices are just the tip of the iceberg, literally.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from a recent Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…

Expect local bread to get smaller but become more expensive at the same time.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda made this rather depressing prediction as wheat, eggs, and sugar–all vital ingredients to breadmaking–have all shot up in price.

Salceda even has a clever word for it: “shrinkflation”.

“Bread will probably be the hardest hit by shrinkflation. Wheat prices have increased by 165 percent. At that point, breadmakers will probably both increase prices and shrink sizes,” the economist-solon said in a statement Sunday night, July 17.

Last March, Salceda warned of higher bread prices amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which affected the trade of wheat.

Egg prices are also threatening to go out of control. Sugar supply is already problematic, noted the Bicolano.

“What we are likely to see us shrinkflation. Goods getting smaller instead of higher prices,” he noted.

Salceda said that while the government continues to try to control price hikes and resolve supply issues, manufacturers and millers can “fortify their products with vitamins and minerals”.

“Nutrition should be part of Science for Change, which is the DOST’s (Department of Science and Technology) flagship program. This should be one of the most relevant and immediate applications.

“Secretary [Fortunato] dela Pena also asked millers and breadmakers to consider other alternatives and additives to maintain nutritional value without increasing prices or reducing sizes significantly…So, in the meantime, while we solve the structural issues affecting price and supply, we can adapt,” the lawmaker said.

Pieces of pandesal.

Meanwhile, the Malaya Business Insight recently published an article about the struggle of community bakers. Posted below is an excerpt of their article with some parts in boldface…

Community bakers have lost 20 percent of their members due to the twin effects of the pandemic and rising raw material prices.

Princess Lunar, director of the Asosasyon ng Panaderong Pilipino, told the Balitaan sa Maynila yesterday, the fair price of pandesal should be P4 per piece to maintain its quality but bakers continue to sell at P2 to P2.50  but the size has considerably shrank to 18 grams.

Lunar said at P4, pandesal size can be restored to 30 g.

While pandesal is not a regulated commodity, community bakers cannot increase their prices because of competition among themselves as well as with commercial and industrial bakers which have economies of scale.

She said the group plans to come up with variants of pandesal at a much  bigger size  enhanced with more nutritious ingredients from agricultural crops like potato, cassava and other starches. The group plans to sell this at P8 to P10 per piece.

The value-added product can help elevate the stature of the pandesal which Lunar has termed as the “pambansang tinapay.”

She appealed to government to assist the group in conducting trainings to improve further the quality of their breads especially pandesal and ensure its sustainability.

Lunar said prior to the pandemic, about 40 percent of the flour requirements for bread go to community bakers. This has since shrank to 19 percent.

Lunar said from P785 per bag, the price of flour has gone up to P1,000. Since January when the Russia-Ukraine crisis started, the price of flour has gone up by P100 to P150 per bag.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you been paying more for pandesal at your local bakery? Does each pandesal piece look smaller in terms of size and content in relation to what you paid for? Are you willing to pay P4 per piece of pandesal? Are there any bakeries in your local community that shut down recently? Apart from pandesal, what other types of bread do you buy from your local community bakery?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others as well as making a donation to support my publishing.. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

High time for Philippines to use nuclear power to ensure clean, abundant and affordable energy for the people

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the other economic and geopolitical developments related to it caused oil prices to spike. Here in the Philippines, the latest round of fuel price hikes resulted in diesel averaging around P65 per liter while unleaded gasoline is now past the P70/liter mark. Inevitably, the spike in crude oil prices will lead to a series of increases on food, transportation, delivery services, electricity and more.

Inflation really affects everyone and as far as the Philippines is concerned, the timing is really bad because Metro Manila and other parts of the country under Alert Level 1 status is experiencing a revival of commerce and increased number of people moving around. Along the way, the national average of new COVID-19 cases has been averaging in the hundreds the past several days.

Times like these, major decisions on ensuring abundant, clean and affordable energy for the Philippines are needed. In relation to this, President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed a major executive order (EO) that includes nuclear power for the country’s energy mix, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Executive Order (EO) 164 that now includes the potential of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix.

Released on Thursday, EO 164 was signed by the Chief Executive last February 28.

This policy is the start of the national nuclear power program,” said Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. in a press conference.

Under the new policy, it stated that the country “shall ensure the peaceful use of nuclear technology anchored on critical tenets of public safety, national security, energy self-sufficiency, and environmental sustainability”.

Duterte issued the policy following the recommendation of the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC), which conducted a pre-feasibility study and public consultation on the matter.

Through EO 164, the Chief Executive has recognized that nuclear power can be a reliable, cost-competitive, and environment-friendly source of energy based on the experience of highly developed countries.

For the country to achieve its sustained growth targets, it must ensure that it has a reliable, secure, sustainable, quality and affordable electricity supply, including sufficient reserve to guarantee that there will be no disruptions in the power supply,” the policy read.

It added the use of nuclear energy will address the increasing demand for clean energy, rising by 4.4 percent annually, or an additional capacity of 68 gigawatts by 2040.

The EO still included the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in the national nuclear program, but other nuclear power installations will be pursued.

The BNPP was the only nuclear power plant in the region during the 1980s, as the Philippines was one of the first Southeast Asian countries to embark on a nuclear energy program.

However, the project was mothballed because of corruption allegations and safety concerns on the use of nuclear energy.

A study conducted by Russia State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) in 2017 said the rehabilitation of BNPP will require around USD3 billion to USD4 billion.

The public is also becoming more open to the potential of nuclear energy.

“(A) Public Perception Survey on Nuclear Energy in 2019 indicated that almost 79 percent of Filipinos expressed approval or acceptability of the possible use or rehabilitation of an existing nuclear power plant,” the EO said.

The above report ended stating that 65% (of those who took the survey) approved the construction of new nuclear power plants and 78% are open to learning more about nuclear energy.

Of course, there is still this long-lasting fear and paranoia about nuclear power being too dangerous for the Philippines to have. Nuclear-related disasters like the one in Fukushima (2011) and Chernobyl (1986) are still remembered and there are also lots of anti-nuclear activists who continue to make noise.

No matter what those climate change extremists, social justice warriors (SJWs), modern day socialists and anti-nuclear power activists say, nothing changes the fact that nuclear power is the answer to meet nations’ constant demand for energy that is also clear, abundant and cost efficient. Watch and learn from the videos below…

Going back to the executive order Duterte signed, Albay Representative Joey Salceda (who is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee) and presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. support nuclear power gave their respective reactions (click here and here).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about nuclear power as an added option for the Philippines energy mix? Are you still worried about nuclear power being too dangerous because the people who oppose it scared you? Are you able to tell if the anti-nuclear activists have been spreading lies and misinformation just to manipulate you to oppose nuclear power?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/