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DTI contemplates on rolling out moratorium on price hikes

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018


DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez | DTI Photo

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has not yet decided on whether to impose price hike moratorium on basic goods despite requests from manufacturers.

The DTI recently released an expanded suggested retail price (SRP) with several adjustments on the price of canned sardines and meat products, taking into consideration the increase in production costs.

This prompted some consumer groups to suggest the implementation of a moratorium on price hikes in basic commodities.

The agency welcomes the suggestion however the decision still depends on the manufacturers.

“Tignan natin kung paano natin mapapakiusapan ang mga manufacturers, ang mga negosyo ng canned products…Tignan natin if they will cooperate,” said DTI Usec. Ruth Castello.

According to a study by consumer group, Laban Konsyumer, the prices in DTI’s expanded SRP shot up by 70%, thus, they insist on a moratorium.

During a visit with the Department of Agriculture (DA) officials in major markets today, Castelo suggests that DA should also update its SRP on agriculture products for the benefit of consumers.

The agencies found out that the prices of spices such as onion and garlic marked a staggering increase of P10.00 to P30.00 per kilogram.

Fish products such as milkfish, galunggong and tilapia also increased in prices by P10.00 to P60.00 per kilogram.

The DA vowed to review its SRP while both agencies promised to continuously monitor market prices of basic goods to protect the rights of consumers. – Mon Jocson / Marje Pelayo

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DTI, DA to impose price ceiling for traders, middle men

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, August 31st, 2018


MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) will set a price ceiling for traders and middlemen to regulate price increases.

Measures will also be imposed to minimize intermediary layers to avoid a sudden spike in market prices.

The DTI is now collating the names of traders before setting a general meeting where the new regulations will be laid out.

Meanwhile, during an inspection in major markets this morning, DTI USec. Ruth Castelo said a number of products were still being sold at a price higher than the agency’s suggested retail price.

“Iyong presyo sa palengke at presyo ng traders hindi sumasabay sa presyo sa farm,” Castelo said.

At Mega Q-Mart in Quezon City, for instance, prices of red onions are higher by P20.00 than the SRP; white onions have a P25.00 mark up; garlic has P10.00, and round scad or galunggong are sold P20.00 higher than the agency’s SRP.

Traders of items with prices higher than the SRP were given notice of inquiry to explain.

Meanwhile, the DTI will release the updated expanded SRP tomorrow (September 1) which includes additional brands that requested for price hike prior to the start of the three months price freeze. – Mon Jocson / Marje Pelayo

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PH gov’t eyes importation to lower prices

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2018


Market in Buhi, Camarines Sur

MANILA, Philippines — The National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) immediately convened following the announcement of the 5.7 percent inflation last July.

In the meeting, the NPCC identified the commodities that increased in price which include rice, fish, vegetables and sugar.

To address this problem, the government will soon import such products to augment the supply.

NPCC chairman and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said, “When we talk of importation kailangang masigurado rin na it will really go to the retail; either diresto sa market o diresto sa mga user industries.”

The government is also eyeing the implementation of a five percent tariff on the prices of imported products to protect the local industry and farmers from the impact of the tariffication of sugar, rice and other commodities.

Lopez added that the high price of oil in the world market is the main culprit in the surge of prices and not the tax reform law.

“Na wrong timing itong TRAIN implementation, but it’s a needed reform but pero without the TRAIN makikita mo, kung hindi tayo nag TRAIN talagang yung presyo tataas because of the world oil price yung galaw nya.”

Meanwhile, a consumer group is offering another solution.

For Laban Konsyumer group, the NPCC must implement a moratorium on the price increases listed on the expanded suggested retail price and discourage the use of easy-open lid for canned products as it costs higher than the regular canned sardines and meat.

The group also suggests that the National Food Authority start the implementation of the 10 to 50 percent discount to consumers and to strictly monitor the price of basic goods in all the market in the country

Meanwhile, the government is appealing to the public to wait for three more months to feel the effect of these solutions. — Mon Jocson

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DTI launches consumer hotline 1-DTI or 1384

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines – Consumer inquiry and complaints are expected to be given prompt answers through the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) four-digit hotline 1384 or 1-DTI.

The new consumer hotline is toll-free which is already open to consumers beginning this week.

“Accessible thru cellphone and landlines. Mas madali na ngayon pati pagsagot consumer hotline agad siya,” said DTI Usec. Ruth Castelo.

Castelo clarified, however, that the new hotline is focused only on consumer-related inquiry or questions regarding the “No Return, No Exchange” policy, quality and safety standards of a certain product, and reasons for price tags among others.

“DTI is ready anytime. Kailangan lang natin sa mamimili ipagbigay alam nila sa atin kapag may nakita silang hindi kaaya-aya na practices ng mga negosyante sa labas,” she said.

DTI stressed that the old hotline number 751-3330 remain functional.

In 2017, the agency received around 8,000 consumer complaints, 20% of which were forwarded to various government agencies while 16% were addressed to different district offices.

The DTI was proud to report that 99.38% of the complaints they received were solved, mostly regarding product and service warranty as well as substandard product services for several electrical products such as cellphone, refrigerator, and television.

The agency warns consumers against buying expensive products not under service warranty.

Likewise, it said all establishments or individuals violating the rights of consumers will be penalized under Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines. – Mon Jocson / Marje Pelayo

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