Following the release of the latest Suggested Retail Prices (SRP) or price guide bulletin, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), keeps a close watch on basic and prime commodities including school supplies within Caloocan on 19 August 2022.
Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Assistant Secretary, Atty. Ann Claire C. Cabochan, led the DTI monitoring teams in inspecting stock keeping units (SKUs) in two (2) supermarkets and two (2) bookstores.
Three (3) of the firms visited are compliant with the SRP bulletin released last 12 August 2022, while only one was issued a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) for a school supply item priced higher than the SRP. With this, the store has to submit a written explanation within 72 hours from receipt of the letter.
“Even if the non-compliant firms expressed their commitment to comply, they will still be issued with an LOI. Through the regular inspection by our price monitors, rest assured that the DTI will act on any further noncompliance with the SRP,” Asec. Cabochan underscored.
Asec. Cabochan emphasized that adhering to the SRP bulletin reflects fair and honest business practices thereby increasing consumer confidence.
The monitoring teams also observed that one of the inspected supermarkets does not carry any of the 16 SKUs of canned sardines in tomato sauce listed in the latest SRP bulletin. Thus, the DTI team apprised the store manager to relay the matter to their distribution channels.
“It would be better if the supermarkets carry SKUs in the SRP bulletin as it provides consumers with a wide range of quality and reasonably-priced products,” Asec. Cabochan reiterated.
Through their careful assessment of the prices of bread, the teams also affirmed that all of the brands are compliant with the SRP. Prior, Asec. Cabochan noted that the Consumer Protection Group (CPG) has seen a significant decrease in the prices of wheat in the World Market that is expected to temper any increases in the price of bread.
Republic Act No. 7581, as amended by R.A. 10623, or the Price Act gives the DTI and other implementing agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of Energy, the mandate of ensuring the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices at all times without denying legitimate businesses a fair return on investment.
The DTI-FTEB weekly monitors the price and supply of basic necessities such as, but not limited to, canned sardines, processed milk, powdered milk, coffee, bread, instant noodles, salt, detergent soap, bottled water, and candles; and prime commodities such as, but not limited to, canned meat, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, paper, school supplies, batteries, flour, cement, G.I. Sheets, hollow blocks, construction nails, light bulbs, electrical supplies, and steel wires.
The DTI enjoins consumers to report retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell basic necessities above their SRPs or uncertified items, through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or email@example.com.