MANILA -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said prices of goods are generally stable across the country, based on surveys done by the agency in key trading areas nationwide.
In a press briefing following the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) meeting Tuesday, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the department has seen no dramatic increase in prices of goods as feared by consumers as an effect of the new Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
“In general, what we are seeing is still a stable price,” said Lopez, who is also chairs the NPCC.
Aside from generally stable prices, particularly on basic commodities, some regions have prices even lower than the suggested retail prices (SRPs).
The DTI chief noted that there has been reported anecdotal price increase, but based on 500 surveyed retailers nationwide, prices were stable.
For instance, prices of canned sardines - except for one brand - did not increase. One brand, Lucky 7, has reduced its sardine products’ prices in some parts of the country, even below the SRP.
Prices of milk products, both processed and powdered, as well as coffee, were stable, according to Lopez.
No price hike was monitored for bread and instant noodles.
Flour prices were the same from last year at PHP730 for hard flour and PHP580 for soft flour per 25-kg. bag.
Cement prices were stable at PHP212 per 40-kg. bag.
Although, one manufacturer of canned sardines and meat informed DTI of its price increase due to movements in foreign exchange rate and higher cost tin plates used for cans and not the effect of TRAIN law, Lopez said.
Century Pacific Food, Inc., manufacturer of sardine brand 555, slightly increased its 155-gram canned sardines from PHP14.50 to PHP15. It also positions an increase of PHP1 to PHP2 per can of its Argentina products, but Lopez said the DTI sees the price hike to be at about PHP0.50 to PHP1 only.
Even for the price of rice, the DTI monitored a PHP1 to PHP3 increase per kg., compared to last year’s prices.
The top trade official, on the other hand, said the Department of Agriculture, DTI, and economic managers should discuss if rice should have an SRP, as suggested during a Congress hearing.
“The price of rice, it’s usually market driven. We’re operating always on market-based pricing. What we need is to keep an eye on profiteering moves,” Lopez said in Filipino. (PNA)
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