Manufacturers want price increase despite DTI’s appeal for price drop

Marje Pelayo   •   January 17, 2019   •   2617

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) tried to persuade manufacturers to rollback their prices during the National Price Coordinating Council Meeting on Thursday (January 17).

The DTI met with manufacturers of milk, biscuits, juices and canned products to discuss its proposal.

The agency argued that the cost of raw materials and ingredients has already gone down therefore they should also cut the prices of their products.

However, sardine manufacturers refused to heed DTI’s call because the price of herring or tamban remains high.

Herrings now sell at P32/kg from its previous price of P19/kg, the manufacturers claimed, that’s why it is not possible to lower the price of canned sardines.

“Ang cost nila ay hindi sa oil, not because of oil, not because of TRAIN kundi ito ang main ingredient which accounts for 47% of their production cost which is fish,” explained DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Meanwhile, manufacturers of canned meat did not ask for a price increase. However, they project a price increase once the Rice Tarrification Bill becomes a law.

This is because the measure will require an increase in tariff on imported meat from 5% to a staggering 40% in exchange for the lowering of tariff on rice.

Meanwhile, the DTI sees only a slight effect of the TRAIN law in the price of basic goods.

But according to supermarket owners, manufacturers may opt to add to the prices of goods the amount of tax that they will be required to pay.

“Pricing is a management decision so whether they want to increase because they don’t want to shoulder the increase in excise tax on gasoline and fuel prices, then we will see some price increase adjustments,” said Steven Cua, president of the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarket Association.

The Duterte administration’s economic managers project that inflation rate in the first quarter of 2019 will rise only by 4%.– Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mon Jocson)

DTI eyes allowing dine-in services at 50% operational capacity

Marje Pelayo   •   May 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is looking into the possibility of allowing the resumption of dine-in services but at 50% workforce capacity in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said they are planning to visit a number of restaurants and fastfood chains to check their compliance with the government’s minimum health standards and protocols in view of the current crisis brought about by coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

“Napakahalaga ng dine-in. Sa ngayon ho nabubuhay sila sa take-out and deliveries. We were told na about 70% ang revenue na nanggagaling sa dine-in, (Dine-in services are important. For now, [restaurants] are earning through take-outs and deliveries. We were told that about 70% of their revenues come from dine-in service],” Lopez noted during a Senate hearing on Thursday (May 22).

Kapag tayo ay makumbinsi naman na safe po na kumain at mai-implement ang minimum health protocol (If we’re convinced that dining-in is already safe and minimum health protocols will be implemented), we shall allow — we will endorse the opening of dine-in,” he added.

Senator Cynthia Villar during the Senate hearing raised the idea of providing a recovery plan for restaurants particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that might close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Consumer group appeals to DTI to lower SRP of prime commodities

Maris Federez   •   May 9, 2019

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

DTI accosts vendors in Obrero Market for not putting price tags

Marje Pelayo   •   November 5, 2018

DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo inspects Obrero Public Market

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) accosted several vendors at Obrero Public Market for not putting appropriate price tags on their products.

“Lagyan ninyo ng presyo, kung hindi iisyuhan nila kayo ng notice of violation. Lagyan niyo ng price tag itong tinda ninyo,” said Undersecretary Ruth Castelo from DTI’s Consumer Protections Group.

Castelo emphasized the importance of price tags to prevent traders from overpricing and taking advantage of the consumers.

“Lahat ng paninda dapat may presyo para sa kaalaman ng consumer para walang deception para maiwasan natin ang paiba-iba sila ng presyo; naka price tag dapat,” she added.

The DTI, meanwhile, said consumers should be informed that prices of chicken meat, vegetables and rice have already dropped.

Currently, the price of chicken is at P120/kg.

However, since there is no suggested retail price (SRP) on vegetables, the DTI calls on consumers to report anyone who engages in overpricing.

Meanwhile, National Food Authority (NFA) Officer in Charge Tomas Escarez said consumers may expect a much lower price of rice in the coming days.

Currently, the SRP on rice still remains at P27/kg for NFA rice; P39 to P47/kg for local well-milled rice; and P39 to P43/kg for imported rice. There is no SRP, however, for special rice.

The NFA said they are continuously monitoring rice prices in local markets against profiteering.

“By November 10 iikot kami.  May mga penalty na na ibibigay tayo,” Escarez said.

Meanwhile, the DTI guided consumers that SRPs on prime commodities are expected to be posted in grocery stores.

As the holiday season draws near, the agency said prices of holiday products are now starting to mark up such as mayonnaise, keso de bola and ham. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)

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