Flower vendors in Davao expect low sales; blame high prices

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/31 October) – Flower vendors in the city are anticipating lower sales for All Souls’ Day citing the increased prices reportedly caused by the high demand for flowers in Manila.

They said there have been only been a few customers unlike last year where many flocked to their shops two days before the traditional day allotted for remembering the dead.

Flower shop owner Sylvia Lamanilao observed that even today (October 31), only a few buyers have come [to order flowers].

Lamanilao, who has been in the business for 20 years, said the high prices forced many customers to shun coming to the shops in Agdao district to buy quality flowers.
She recalled that last year­ they were able to dispose 400 dozens of assorted flowers.

A customer chooses from a wide array of flowers being sold at a stall in Agdao Public Market, Davao City on Monday, October 31. Prices of flowers, which are common offerings of Filipinos to their dead loved ones, have increased due to the demand on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. MindaNews Photo by Ruby Thursday More“Right now, I only have 300 dozens and I’m afraid that I cannot dispose them all before Nov 2. Unlike last year, walk-in customers flocked here starting October 28,” said Lamanilao, adding the top seller was the chrysanthemum.

She said their suppliers from General Santos City, Bukidnon and this city have also increased their prices.

She said they now sell liliums for P145 per stem, or P45 more compared to last year, while some other varieties have increased by P5 per bundle.

In Bankerohan market, Russel Velez said they are also anticipating low sales this year as few walk-in customers have come to buy flowers.

She said that last year they had several wholesale buyers.

“This year those wholesale buyers ordered directly from the growers maybe because of the price hike,” she said, adding that the growers may have prioritized the distributors in Manila because the growers in Baguio were not able to produce quality flowers due to the recent typhoons.

But Walter Dublico, production supervisor of Puentespina Orchid and Tropical Plants, clarified that they are not actually prioritizing the distributors in Manila because it would entail shipping costs.

Dublico said they actually divided their distribution equally among local distributors and those in Manila. “We can save on shipping cost if we would opt to distribute here.”

Annually, he said, they are producing at least 50,000 bundles of assorted flowers such as gladiola, gerbera, liliums, chrysanthemums, lisianthos, and orchids.

But he admitted that this year’s production is relatively low due to bad weather and pest attack.

“In Baguio the farms were affected by the recent storm and the growers have low production too.” (Keith Bacongco/MindaNews)