The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched e-Presyo 2.0, an updated version of the online price monitoring system, to bridge the gap between consumers and retailers on their price monitoring concerns.
At a virtual news briefing on Thursday, the DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG), through its Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB), launched an enhanced version of the e-Presyo, an online price monitoring system, to ensure a faster and more efficient gathering and management of data and accurate generation of reports.
DTI is mandated under the Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, as amended, to ensure the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPC) at reasonable prices for the protection of consumers and businesses.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, however, stressed that with limited manpower resources and, at the same time, the growing number of retail stores and products to monitor across the country, the DTI had to utilize technology while tapping other organizations to develop a more efficient crowdsourcing system.
The outgoing trade chief recognized DTI’s successful partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation Inc. Regulatory Support Program for Nation Development (UPPAF RESPOND) which helped in enhancing the online price monitoring platform. These organizations share the same goal of advancing inclusive economic growth.
“Hindi naman kakayanin ng limited resources, manpower resources ng DTI, so we thought it best to develop a crowdsourcing system and making use of course of the new technology,” said Lopez.
Representing the DTI in this partnership, according to Lopez, were the Information Systems Management Service (ISMS) and the Management Services Group (MSG).
“I thank again and acknowledge the efforts of ISMS, MSG, UPPAF RESPOND team, and the USAID organization in general in coming up with this enhanced app,” added Lopez.
For his part, USAID-Philippines Economic Growth Specialist Jay de Quiros said that the upgraded e-Presyo 2.0 platform is timely since it promotes transparency and accountability among establishments selling basic and prime commodities being monitored by DTI.
Moreover, de Quiros echoed DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo in saying that this online platform will empower both DTI personnel and consumers to be updated on prices of essential commodities especially amid disasters, pandemic and global supply chain disruptions as these unforeseen circumstances are the culprits behind the fluctuation of prices.
Representing the UPPAF RESPOND team, Chief Technology Officer of Insight Supply Chain Solutions Relly Noman, emphasized that the new e-Presyo platform actually consists of two mobile applications—the price monitoring and consumer applications.
The presentation highlighted that “the new e-Presyo platform allows DTI’s price monitors, retailers, consumers and planners to gather, share and utilize the prices of consumer goods across the country.”
The Price Monitoring application boasts of key features that may help the DTI field agents in monitoring their assigned stores and products, both in online and offline modes.
Particularly, the application allows the field agents to record the prices of products in their assigned stores, see suggested retail price (SRP) and latest prices, and record any changes with digital proof.
For the participating stores, the e-Presyo platform can also help ease their burden in terms of allowing them to upload their products, prices and inventory which they can share with consumers. The same pricing information will also be available to consumers via the e-Presyo consumer mobile app.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Application caters to the needs of consumers, who can utilize the application by searching for products, in which they are given options to scout for cheapest product, nearest store relative to their location, among others. With this consumer app, consumers can also report on any perceived overpricing from a store and provide proof and location information of the said store.
The presentation further provided that “data maps can also be produced to indicate price monitoring coverage across the country or plot historical price trends and data integration with other agencies.”
Noman stressed that the Consumer App is available on Android and IOS and it is location-based service.
For the e-Presyo platform, it can be accessed through: https://epresyo.dti.gov.ph/. The said applications can be downloaded through the links located at the bottom of the e-Presyo web site.
For her part, DTI Undersecretary Castelo mentioned that the DTI would also be launching the Philippine Online Dispute Resolution System (PODRS) this month, which aims to improve the handling of consumer complaints.
The trade department has begun the pilot testing of the PODRS in 2021 also with the help of USAID and UPPAF.