BARUGO, Leyte – Makers of the “roscas”, a locally made cookie, are now feeling the heat as their incomes have suffered considerably due to low demand in the market. This was revealed by Victoria Astorga, president of the Barugo Roscas Producers Association (BRPA) who said that that their incomes was seen to have dropped after the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda.

This after their sales every month dropped almost half from their previous monthly sales of 2,000 pieces. Astorga said that before Yolanda, each of the 11 member of the BRPA received P4, 000 to P5, 000 as their share every end of the month. But after the onslaught of Yolanda, each of the members could only managed to receive P2, 000, a small amount for them to meet their daily needs. Astorga admitted that the low demand of the product could be due to the increase of its price. She said that a box of cookie, for example, was set at P150 before Yolanda but because of scarcity of ingredients, they were forced to increase the price at P200. Astorga said that they get the ingredients of roscas, a locally made cookie made of flour, butter, sugar and milk, among others, from Tacloban City, considered the ground zero of Yolanda.

“People have less money to buy non-basic food items after the disaster as their incomes reduced considerably,” Astorga said. The group is now looking for bigger production area where they can boost the industry’s sales. As of now, their production and selling area is located at the second floor of Barugo public market building with lesser chance to be visited by the buyers. “Our major constraint is that we don’t have the logistics and linkages to bring our product outside of Leyte,” said Astorga.
Formed in 2006, the BRPA is beneficiaries of various programs designed to enhance production by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for technology upgrading, Food and Drug Administration for sanitation, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for good manufacturing practices and packaging as well as bar code certification of products. On the other hand, the local government of Barugo, provided baking pans, trays, and display racks for finished products. (JOLLIE MAE B.VERANA, LNU Intern)