The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has published the updated Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) of basic necessities and prime commodities in major newspapers to guide consumers in their purchases at the same time to alert retailers nationwide to sell within the SRPs.
Based on the recent National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) meeting, other government offices and industries cited the world price hikes on products and services as the main reason of price increases of goods in the country.
Several manufacturers of milk products, canned goods, noodles, and condiments, have notified the DTI a month ago on the price adjustments of their products, citing the increase in prices of raw materials and production costs as the major reason for the adjustments.
DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo reports, “DTI has looked into the adjusted SRPs of these select basic necessities and prime commodities and the results of the comparative price analysis showed that the planned price adjustments were reasonable. Thus, we have published the updated price guide for the information and guidance of producers, manufacturers, traders, dealers, sellers, retailers, and consumers.”
The SRPs are provided by manufacturers to set retail prices of products. The SRP serves as the widely published price of being certain products so the consumers can know whether the goods are over-priced or above the acceptable profit margin. It is different from price ceiling, which is the maximum price at which any basic necessity or prime commodity may be sold as imposed by the President upon the recommendation of the NPCC or the concerned implementing agency.
DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Welfare Zenaida C. Maglaya explains, “Whenever necessary, the implementing agency of certain basic necessities and prime commodities, such as DTI, may issue SRPs on products under its jurisdiction as stated in the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the Price Act (Sec. 4 of Rule II).”
“We are closely coordinating with the industry sector to ensure that there is proper notification and consultation prior to any adjustments in SRPs so as not to deny the businesses of their right to fair return of investments, at the same time to prevent unreasonable price increases on basic goods,” stresses Usec. Maglaya.
Any retailer found selling above the SRP shall be asked to explain the price hike and show cost of acquisition. If it turns out that the manufacturer or distributor was the one selling goods higher than the SRP, then DTI shall issue summons to these manufacturers or distributors to explain the increase in price.
An administrative fine of up to One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) shall be imposed for violation of the Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act subject to the circumstances provided after due notice and hearing. Criminal liability for illegal price manipulation may result to imprisonment of not more than 15 years and a maximum fine of P2,000,000.00.
DTI urges consumers to report any complaints on prices to DTI Direct 751.3330 or send your message through DTI<space>message and sending it to 2920 for both Globe and Smart subscribers.
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