Consumer group calls for strict implementation of SRP on basic goods

Marje Pelayo   •   December 18, 2019   •   390

MANILA, Philippines – Republic Act 7581 also known as the Consumer Price Act of 1992 aims at protecting the consumers and their rights.

One of the provisions of the law is the implementation of a Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for each of the basic commodities in the local market.

SRP is the recommended price at which the retailers sell their products and according to former Trade undersecretary now Laban Konsyumer president, Atty. Vic Dimagiba, prices of goods may be lower but not above the SRP.

“Iyon ay nagsasaad na ang presyo ng isang produkto ay makatuwiran at nararapat lamang at hindi malulugi ang negosyante at hindi naman mabigat sa consumer (It sets the price of a product into a reasonable amount acceptable to both the manufacturer or the business owner and the consumer),” Dimagiba explained.

The former Trade official said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) should be consistent and strict in enforcing the SRP to make sure that the prices of basic commodities go with the standard.

Anyone who will violate the law on SRP can be considered profiteering and violators may face penalties of P5,000 to P1-M.

Such a crime is akin to not placing proper price tags on goods.

Dimagiba noted the importance of price tags, as it is a way for consumers to check if the prices of goods are according to SRP.

“Kapag nakita mong above SRP bigyan mo ng show cause order ang retailer (When the price is above SRP, the retailer should be sent a show cause order),” he said.

“Pagpaliwanagin mo siya kung bakit lumampas siya doon. Kasi sukat na yung kita mo doon na hindi ka na malulugi (The retailer should explain why they went above the SRP because the profit should already be incorporated in the SRP), ” he added.

This year, several products have shown frequent mark ups, according to the group.

“Number one produkto na tumaas ang SRP kulang-kulang siguro P4.00 ang isa ay ang de latang sardinas, ang gatas, at ang kape. Itong taon na ito three to four times sila, (The primary products that showed price increase of up to P4.00 include canned sardines, milk and coffee. Just this year, there had been an increase of three to four times on these items), Dimagiba explained.

The group calls for an SRP on meat and chicken, adding that the price of rice should also drop from P38 to P40 per kilogram to a reasonable price of P32 per kilogram. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

DTI tells traders: Follow SRP for face masks amid COVID-19 threat

Robie de Guzman   •   March 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Tuesday reiterated its warning against overpricing of disposable face masks amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

In an interview with UNTV program, Get it Straight with Daniel Razon, DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo reminded traders to follow the suggested retail price (SRP) for disposable surgical mask and N95 masks as demand remain high due to COVID-19 scare.

Castelo said the SRP of surgical mask should be at P23 to 28 per piece while N95 mask should be sold at P45 to P105, depending on the brand.

She said that they are now monitoring the possible movement of prices for face masks in the international market amid the rising consumer demand due to concerns on the rapid spread of COVID-19.

“Although pinag-aaralan na rin natin kasi baka because of the global demand na rin sa N95, baka medyo gumalaw siya, medyo tumaas so inaaral natin sa DTI kung tama pa po yung 105 pesos, but until it is changed or adjusted by DOH hindi po pwedeng ibenta above 105 at this time,” she said.

The infrared thermometer, although not included in the SRP list for medical supplies, should be sold at P2,000 to P5,000, Castelo said.

She warned that traders selling these devices beyond the suggested retail price may face profiteering and other price manipulation charges.

The DTI official also reminded traders of the existing implementation of price freeze as the Philippines is currently under a state of calamity due to the COVID-19 threat.

She also reiterated that there is no need for consumers to hoard nor panic buy products as food supplies remain sufficient in the country.

“Hindi po tayo mahihirapan because the retailers have their inventory of around 1-2 months, tapos ang manufacturers meron ding 1 month inventory and they can easily produce because the raw materials are here,” she said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Consumer group hopes water concession agreement issue won’t end in lawsuit

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 3, 2020

Laban Konsyumer Inc. hopes that the water concession agreement issue won’t end in lawsuit.

The consumer group said that water distribution might be affected if President Rodrigo Duterte will push through with his threat to file a lawsuit against the water concessionaires.

According to the president of Laban Konsyumer Inc., Victor Dimagiba, it would be better if the issue will be settled through a negotiation to avoid customer inconvenience.

“Hopefully, hindi na tayo mapupunta sa husgado (hopefully we won’t have to go to court), mas lalong hindi maganda ang mangyayari (things might get worse) as far as services to the consumers are concerned,” he said.

Dimagiba also said a sufficient evidence would be needed in case there will be no renegotiation and the issue will go to court.

“Kailangan may element na malinaw na niloko tayo at more than P50 million ang halaga. So iyon ang threshold na kailangan mong i-prove, (There should be a clear element that there was a fraud worth more than P50 million. So that is the threshold to be proven),” he said.

President Duterte previously warned he would put the owners of the water concessionaires in jail for economic sabotage.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DTI OKs higher prices for milk, coffee, other basic goods

Robie de Guzman   •   June 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The prices of milk, coffee and other basic goods are expected to go up in the next few days after the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) approved another round of increase in prices of basic commodities.

In DTI’s second quarter suggested retail price (SRP) list, prices of nine milk brands, including condensed and evaporated milk products, have increased by P0.50 to nearly P2.00.

A leading 3 in 1 coffee brand also increased by P1.00 per pack.

The price of a fish sauce brand will also increase by P0.50 to P0.85 per pack.

The DTI said the price hike was brought about by higher raw materials and production costs as requested by manufacturers in their petitions filed in 2018.

The approvals had been split to reduce impact on the part of consumers, the DTI added.

In a statement, local consumer group Laban Konsyumer questioned DTI’s approval of price increases after the country’s inflation slightly went up higher in May.

The group also wants the public to become more involved in deciding adjustments for basic and prime commodities.

But the agency clarified that while requests for price increase have been approved, these are yet to be implemented pending publication in newspapers of general circulation.

The DTI said retailers should still follow the SRP bulletin dated May 4, 2019.

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