Prices rising, but DTI bucks wage increase

A consumer protection group said Wednesday the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities were on the rise in the second week of June, even as the Department of Trade and Industry warned that a significant wage hike would be “dangerous” to the economy.

Based on its own monitoring, the prices of most goods that have a suggested retail price went up, the Laban Konsyumer Inc. said.

“Using SRP as of June 8, I was surprised almost all in the list had price increases this year,” said the group’s president, Victorio Dimagiba.

The consumer group said that within the limited list of items with SRP, all had price increases except bread, bottled water and coffee.

The group noticed a 3 to 11-percent increase in the price of canned sardines; a 5-percent hike on powdered milk; 3 to 18 percent for luncheon meat; 5 to 10 percent on meatloaf; 2 to 7 percent for corned beef; and 4 to 5 percent for condiments including fish and soy sauce and vinegar.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, meanwhile, cautioned against a sharp increase in wages.

At a briefing Wednesday, Lopez pointed out that an increase in nationwide wage would create a strong pressure on the country’s inflation. With Evalea Casaljay

Lopez said increasing wages will also increase the cost of production, which would push up the price of products and services.

The secretary added that if there will be increase in wage, it will only be a “minimal adjustment that should not be more than what is necessary.”

Associated Labor Unions-Trade Congress of the Philippines condemned Lopez for saying that the workers do not deserve a wage hike. They also pointed out that Lopez is forgetting that he is working in the government to “ensure welfare of the people” instead of protecting the interests of businessmen. With Evalea Casaljay

Topics: Department of Trade and Industry , wage hike , Laban Konsyumer Inc. , Secretary Ramon Lopez
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