The prices of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) listed in the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) Bulletin as of February 8, 2023 remains “valid and in force” until a new bulletin is published by the agency, the Department of Trade and Industry said on Monday.
Following the request of some manufacturers for price hikes citing “various reasons,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said the DTI continues to study these requests for validation and comparison with international prices.
Pascual also noted that “we need to balance the interest of different sectors, we must ensure that Filipino families will have access to affordable BNPCs.”
For her part, DTI Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo said the agency “carefully” reviews the documents provided by the manufacturers as “we have our own study and reliable references on the global prices of raw materials that allows us to determine the reasonableness of the requests.”
The head of DTI’s consumer protection arm also noted that DTI is in “constant communication” with BNPC manufacturers to ensure reasonable prices and stable supply of commodities.
Two weeks ago, Castelo bared that manufacturers of canned sardines, milk and salt were seeking an increase in the prices of their products. She added the reasons cited for the price increase include “the packaging, importation, foreign exchange and, of course, logistics [and] distribution costs.”
Prior to the issuance of the SRP bulletin in February, manufacturers had been requesting for the adjustments in the SRP for months. The latest bulletin, however, reflected tempered price increases.
In an interview with reporters last February, Castelo said the DTI issued an updated SRP bulletin that month as the DTI believed some manufacturers were already in a “danger zone,” even after the DTI issued an updated SRP bulletin in August last year.
If they didn’t allow price increases, Castelo said, manufacturers could have suffered losses, forcing some of them to close down or streamline production ultimately impacting the economy.
Castelo said that last February, the DTI allowed an increase in the price of canned sardines by P1.50, half of the P3 being sought by canned sardines makers. Meanwhile, one brand of luncheon meat increased by P3.50 to P39 from P35.50.
Based on the latest price list, the SRP for canned sardines ranges from P13.25 to as much as P19.58. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2023/05/22/no-need-to-update-srp-bulletin-dti/)
The DTI, as mandated by Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, as amended, issues the SRP Bulletin of BNPCs under its jurisdiction for the information and guidance of manufacturers, distributors, and consumers.