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DTI releases new SRP for basic commodities

A woman shops for groceries at a supermarket in Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL ANTONIO DE GUZMAN

THE PRICES of some basic commodities, such as canned meat, sardines, noodles and bread, have gone up by as much as 10%, according to the new suggested retail price (SRP) bulletin released by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday.   

Trade Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo said the latest SRP bulletin showed there were price increases for 76 shelf keeping units (SKUs), while 141 SKUs retained their prices from the August 2022 bulletin.

In a Viber message, she said the price adjustments in the new bulletin are the “most fair and reasonable increases” that the DTI can allow to make sure the products remain affordable and available.

Ms. Castelo said retail prices of several basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs), such as canned meat, sardines, noodles, bread, and milk, were raised.

“A few non-food items also increased prices like candles,” she added.

Ms. Castelo said 58 SKUs raised prices by up to a maximum of 10%, although 19 of these only implemented price adjustments of between 1% and 5%.

“(Prices of) only 18 SKUs are adjusted a little over 10%, mostly non-food items,” she added.   

The DTI issued the new SRP bulletin on Wednesday, after it missed its original release target in January.   

Ms. Castelo said the new SRP bulletin was released following the DTI’s “long validation review and study.

“We are compelled to allow price adjustments of some manufactured BNPCs to make sure that manufacturers continue to produce these fast-moving consumer goods,” she said.

Various manufacturers have previously sought to increase product prices due to surging prices of raw materials and services.   

Inflation surged to a fresh 14-year high of 8.7% in January, as food prices continued to rise. This was also higher than the 8.1% in December, and 3% a year ago.

In January, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. urged the DTI to publish SRP bulletin on a regular basis to help manufacturers to “adequately plan their operations and finances.”   

Republic Act (RA) No. 7581, as amended by RA 10623 or the Price Act, directs the DTI and other government agencies to ensure the availability of BNPCs at reasonable prices without denying a fair investment return for legitimate businesses.    

Meanwhile, Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said in a separate statement that it is intensifying the implementation of policies related to consumer prices, logistics and supply chain management, investment promotion, and collaboration with other government agencies in a bid to address surging inflation.

Mr. Pascual said the DTI is coordinating with manufacturers to ensure the “stable supply and reasonable pricing” of BNPCs both during crisis and non-crisis periods.    

“The DTI continues to capacitate Local Price Coordinating Councils to enforce monitoring, compliance, and accountability of all stakeholders at various supply chain stages, including market masters, administrators, retailers, and wholesalers. Along with this, our monitoring taskforce conducts regular price and supply monitoring of BNPCs, ensuring accessibility of affordable goods,” he said.   

Mr. Pascual said the DTI is also aiming to reduce the logistics costs of manufacturers to help them cut operational expenses.

“We have the Supply Chain and Logistics Management Division under DTI that is working to lower logistics costs and simplify the transport of products from the point of origin to its destination,” he said.

The DTI also said that it is collaborating with other government agencies such as the Philippine Competition Commission to look into cases involving anti-competitive activities. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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