Beginning June 14 this year, the Silliman University (SU) Cafeteria increased their food prices by up to seven pesos.
According to Atty. Fe Mary Tagle, SU vice-president for finance and administration, the increase is due to the revenue loss of the university from the decline of enrollment this school year.
The university increased the contributions of Silliman’s auxiliaries such as the cafeteria and SU farm to 20 percent from to at least compensate this loss of revenue Tagle said.
Ana Vee Riconalla, manager of the Food Services Department, said that this is the first price surge that has occurred since she held her position at the cafeteria three years ago.
“For several years, there has been no increase in the prices of goods and services offered by the Food and Auxiliary Services Department even when costs incurred in its production have been going up,” she said..
She added, “However, as a subsidiary rule, there is a need for us to augment our income to help the university bring in more revenues especially in these trying times.”
Riconalla said the department decided to increase the prices between P2 and P7 per serve of food items after reviewing the pricing scheme.
These changes constitute approximately 20% of the original product price.
“For example, the price of our beef and pork dishes increased from P 40 to P 47, the pansit bihon and vegetables from Php 25 to Php 32; the fruit mix from Php 30 to Php 35, and the salad from Php 35 to Php 40. The cost of a cup of rice also increased from Php 10 to Php 12,” Riconalla said.
In line with the increase, the cafeteria implemented a three-peso discount to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the university who could present their valid IDs in the cashier.
Riconalla added that the increase is reflective to the quality of service they have in the cafeteria.
“Worthy of mention is the installation of air conditioning equipment, the state-of-the-art comfort rooms, the new and elegant tables and chairs, and the recently renovated dining areas and stations,” she said.
Other improvements include the opening of the new amenities center at the Main Library and the cafeteria’s new outlet at Kross Kat.
Furthermore, the department plans to open a halal corner this August to cater to the dietary requirements of Muslim customers.
According to a junior Mechanical Engineering student, who wanted to be anonymous, the cafeteria is no longer the usual “go-to kainan” ever since the prices began to rise.
A parent who buys food at the cafeteria every lunch time also shared the same sentiments.
According to her, although she and her family really like the homemade taste of the food and other healthy food options, she thinks that the sudden rise of the food prices is not student-friendly.
“The sudden increase of the food prices is really sad,” she said. “And I don’t know why it’s increasing so much.”
In line with this, the dorm food fee has increased. Dormers inside the university are paying fixed amount of food consumption for the entire semester, except for the cottages that have their own cooks.
From the average of P20, 300 per semester, the price dorm food increased to P22,320.
Jullan Joyce Igot, a dormer from Channon Hall, expressed her disappointment saying, “We [the dormers] think the price is too much. It was all of a sudden, we weren’t told beforehand. They increased the price but the quality of the dorm food hasn’t improved.”
On the other hand, Mark Avila, president of Vernon Hall, said the reason why the increase in price on dorm food may be because of the increase price of commodities or because of the less number of dormers inside the campus.
“I think [the price increase] is reasonable, because with the growing price of commodities you really need to increase the price of food and services,” he shared.