DTI defends higher SRPs for some goods
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) defended the recent increase in suggested retail prices (SRPs) for certain goods, following a consumer group's call for a rollback.
Laban Konsyumer had said that SRPs should be adjusted downwards since inflation has been easing in recent months.
But in a statement on Tuesday, May 7, the DTI said the price increases were even postponed for 3 months in 2018 due to rising inflation then.
Further holding off price hikes could result in even higher increases, the loss of jobs, or the closure of businesses, according to the DTI.
The agency's latest SRP list as of Saturday, May 4, showed that 32 out of 235 shelf keeping units (SKUs), a term used to keep track of retail inventory, posted price increases. Out of the 32 SKUs, 17 have increased by less than P1.
The following goods posted price increases:
- 12 out of 23 SKUs of sardines
- 4 out of 8 SKUs of instant noodles
- 7 out of 34 SKUs of bottled water
- 4 out of 10 SKUs of toilet soaps
- 5 out of 13 SKUs of condiments
The following goods were reported to have no price increase:
- Canned milk
- Coffee refill
- 3-in-1 coffee
- Detergent or laundry soap
- Canned meat
The DTI only imposes SRPs on manufactured basic necessities and prime commodities.
"The government closely monitors their prices as mandated by law and negotiates with manufacturers on the most reasonable price adjustments based on production cost movements," said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez in the statement.
Aside from protecting consumers, the DTI also has to make sure that manufacturers are assured of "a fair return of investment."
"Business principles dictate that companies do not necessarily increase their prices easily as they are also afraid of losing patronage to competition," Lopez said.
"As much as possible, manufacturers absorb rising production costs to keep their loyal customers."
The DTI noted that raw materials caused the uptick in certain goods such as sardines and instant noodles. As for toilet soaps, the DTI pointed to warehousing and logistics issues.
Consumers can report to the DTI if there are stores selling above the SRPs. Call One-DTI Hotline 1-384 or send an email to email@example.com. – Rappler.com