Consumer group appeals to DTI to lower SRP of prime commodities

Maris Federez   •   May 9, 2019   •   2040

Price watch group, Laban Konsyumer, has filed an appeal before the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to lower the suggested retail price (SRP) of prime commodities following the easing down of the Philippines’ inflation rate.

Based on the latest report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s inflation rate has gone down to three percent in April – the lowest since January 2018.

Laban Konsyumer president Vic Dimaguiba said it is high time for the DTI to come up with a new SRP and that prices of a number of products; such as canned sardines, instant noodles, soaps, bottled water and other condiments, should have already been reduced.

“Ang amin pong panawagan eh napapanahon na para maramdaman naman ng mga consumer yang three percent inflation sa pamamagitan ng pagbaba ng presyo sa mga pangunahing bilihin [Our appeal is this. It is already high time that the consumers feel the three percent inflation thru the lowering of prices of basic commodities],” Dimaguiba added. (with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf

Inflation rate peaks at 3.5% in December 2020 due to high food prices

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The inflation rate in December 2020 peaked at 3.5% due to the high prices of pork, vegetables, and other food products.

This is higher compared to the 3.3% inflation rate recorded in November and the highest inflation rate recorded in the country since March 2019.

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Usec. Dr. Dennis Mapa said aside from the food products, an increase in the transportation fares and alcoholic beverages also contributed to the December 2020 rate.

“This would be attributed to the demand dahil ginagamit talaga sa pagluluto (it is used for cooking) and, of course, the celebration particularly last Christmas and the New Year pushed the demand to increase and also we have concerns related to the supply,” he said.

Meanwhile, the PSA expects lower prices of goods this January. -AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

PSA warns against fake National ID processing services online

Marje Pelayo   •   December 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) warns the public against groups or individuals offering to assist in the processing of PhilSys ID or the national ID with corresponding fees.

The PSA has received reports that a certain Facebook  group named ‘Philippine National ID (News & Information),’ and an individual using the name ‘Calvin Processings’ are offering such services online.

According to PSA, the PhilSys registration for the national ID is free and any posts or offers that are asking for payments for processing are fake.

The agency reminds that PhilSys registration has three steps set by the government:

Step 1 – Registration, or the collection of demographic data and setting the appointment

Step 2 – Capturing the fingerprints and iris scans of the registrants

Step 3 – Issuance of PhilSys Numbers (PSNs) and physical IDs

The agency noted that Step 1 has already commenced and PSA registration officers are going house-to-house to collect demographic information of a select sample of low-income household heads from 32 priority provinces.

Registration for PhilSys will be officially open to the public in 2021.

The Agency also warned the public that the unauthorized issuance and use of the PhilSys ID is punishable by law, with 6 years imprisonment and a fine of P1-3 million according to the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of  R.A. No. 11055 or Philippine Identification System Act.

Any illegal activities concerning the PhilSys ID system can be reported through the PhilSys Facebook page or through hotline numbers 1388.

DTI warns of estafa charges against prank orders

Marje Pelayo   •   December 24, 2020

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) warns shoppers who make prank purchases online this holiday season that they can be charged with estafa.

According to DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, pulling pranks when ordering is penalized under the Revised Penal Code with imprisonment once proven.

Prank ordering means a customer would order food or any item online with the intention of cancelling later on.

Castelo said they have partnered with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in addressing the complaints that they will be receiving regarding the matter.

Victims of prank orders must keep the record of the transaction such as text message, contact number, time and date of the transaction and other pertinent information.

“Makukulong iyan. Kailangan lang tulungan din tayo ng complainant kung siya iyong seller o iyong food delivery platforms na makapag-complain siya. Mag-execute ng affidavit at makapag-complain. Tutulungan natin sila, sa PNP or sa NBI,” Castelo said.

[They will be jailed. We just need the cooperation of the complainants, whether he or she is the seller or from the food delivery platforms, in lodging their complaint. They should execute an affidavit. We will help them together with the PNP and the NBI.]

Meanwhile, the DTI advised online shoppers to verify the authenticity of the online store they are purchasing from so as not to be deceived or dismayed of the purchased products.

While online sellers are increasing since the pandemic, complaints are also piling up against bogus transactions which reached up to over 15,000 this year as compared to 2,500 in 2019.

At the House of Representatives, House Bill 7805 or the Internet Transaction Act that seeks protection to merchants, customers and even to third party service providers or ride-hailing providers.

Bogus buyers will face a penalty of up to P50,000 while errant merchants and ride-hailing service providers will have to pay up to P500,000 fine if violations are proven. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)


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