AmCham exec to DTI: Where’s the updated SRP

The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc. (AmCham) strongly urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to regularly publish suggested retail price (SRP) bulletins, noting that its member companies are struggling to continue production given the rising prices of raw materials and services.

In a letter addressed to Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual on January 20, 2023, AmCham Philippines expressed concern on the plight of its member companies to continue production.

“A lot of our member companies are struggling to continue production given the rising prices of raw materials and services,” AmCham Executive Director Ebb Hinchliffe said.

“In line with this, AmCham strongly urges the Department of Trade and Industry to regularly publish SRP bulletins in accordance with the Price Act to allow producers and manufacturers to adequately plan their operations and finances,” the AmCham official added.

Hinchliffe said the regular publication of SRP bulletins will “ultimately help” businesses to stay afloat and continue to provide jobs and quality products for Filipinos.

With this, the AmCham, along with its members, said they are committed to helping the DTI to gather information that will help assess the market prices of consumer goods and services.

“It has always been our mission to help the government to come up with policies that would make the country a fair, sustainable and competitive investment destination,” Hinchliffe’s letter read.

During a televised interview last week, DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo revealed that makers of canned sardines, processed milk, coffee, instant noodles, bread, candles and detergent soap are those who have requested for a price increase for their products under the basic necessities category.

For prime commodities, Castelo said there are pending requests for canned meat, bath soap and some condiments.

According to the trade official, among the factors that could lead to the adjustment of prices are the prices of raw materials that manufacturers are using, majority of which are being imported. Another factor that could be causing the price changes, Castelo said, is the logistics cost since fuel is consumed for the distribution of goods.

Further, she said, packaging materials could also have a hand in the adjustment of prices of goods as majority of these are also being imported by manufacturers. Castelo said these factors contribute to the increase of the manufacturer’s cost of production that may prompt them to request for price increases.

Castelo said last week the trade department initially planned to release an updated SRP bulletin within the month of January. However, she said, the pending requests for price hikes have  piled up.

“We’re not yet done and we’re still studying carefully when to release it [SRP bulletin]. At ‘yung figures meron pa naman kaming natitirang validation dahil ang requests panay ang dating sa amin,” Castelo said last week.

“So we are just trying to finish important figures para masigurado natin ‘yung computation. So wala pa tayong date kung kailan lalabas,” Castelo added.

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