A group of food manufacturers has expressed support to the plan of the Department of Trade and Industry to lift the suggested retail price scheme for basic necessities and prime commodities to reduce bureaucratic procedures.
“The ongoing practice now is that SRPs of basic necessities and prime commodities are currently set by manufacturers, but are subject to evaluation and approval by the DTI,” Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. president Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. said.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said he wanted to deregulate the SRP scheme, so that the market could decide and determine the right prices of commodities.
Pampi echoed DTI’s stance that setting the SRP should be a business decision among manufacturers. “We should give the consumer the freedom to choose what is best for him,” said Tiukinhoy.
“People can patronize products with good value. On the other hand, they can boycott abusive manufacturers,” he said.
Tiukinhoy said Pampi and its 35-member companies in terms of price adjustments are advocating for good manufacturing practices to ensure efficient production and sound supply chain that would keep products cost-competitive.
Tiukinhoy said Pampi supported the Duterte administration’s thrust to protect the well-being of every Filipino consumer. He said one way of doing it was to keep prices at a minimum level without denying legitimate business a fair return on investment.
“Our meat products, which are considered prime commodities, are price-sensitive and highly competitive. Minor price adjustment among market players would mean loss of market share and competitiveness. Thus, we do not see the importance of a government-regulated SRP,” said Tiukinhoy.
“We fully agree with Secretary Lopez that manufacturers of basic necessities and prime commodities are hesitant to increase prices for fear of losing market share. For us, consumer loyalty is of prime importance to make our business sustainable,” he said.
Government regulators have earlier treated the SRP as a ceiling price and imposed measures against retail stores and manufacturers found to be selling goods beyond the SRP.
Pampi is a P300-billion industry association providing direct and indirect employment to over 200,000 people.
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