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Price hikes unavoidable — Lopez

While the Department of Trade and Industry is yet to revise the suggested retail price of basic necessities and prime commodities, some companies have already raised their retails prices by as much as P1 to P2 per unit.

Trade secretary Ramon Lopez said the price hike is unavoidable since it has been almost two years that manufacturers of basic and prime commodities have been keeping their price adjustments on hold.

“They (companies) have not increased their pricing for 2 years but the price of raw materials and packaging have already increased,” he said.

Among the commodities that scaled up pricing were canned meat, sardines, instant noodles, coffee, milk and condiments.

The DTI said the price of tin cans went up by 60 percent while pet bottle packaging also increased by 37 percent. Prices of herring, used to make sardines, rose by 14 percent, meat by 10 percent and mechanically-deboned meat (MDM) by 87 percent.

According to consumer group Laban Konsyumer, Inc. the increases will trigger high inflation rate considering that the country is still in a crisis.

“Why justify based on 2019 data? They should be basing on year-to-date data to consider offsetting raw materials, as well as the peso to dollar exchange rate, said LKI president Victorio Dimagiba who was a retired DTI official handling consumer issues.

He added that this the “worst time for any consumer goods price hike with the Delta (COVID) variant arriving in the country.”

The DTI said it will issue the new STP as soon as possible, after it has thoroughly reviewed requests for price hikes.

The DTI has announced that basic necessities will now be sold at their suggested retail prices (SRPs) based on the September 30, 2019 list, following the lifting of the 2-month moratorium on SRP increases.

The basic necessities were placed under automatic price control at their prevailing prices due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever.

The price freeze lasted 60 days, from May 10, 2021 to July 9, 2021.

The products under basic necessities include canned sardines in tomato sauce, luncheon meat, meatloaf, beef loaf, corned beef, processed milk, coffee, bread, locally manufactured instant noodles, salt, detergent soap/laundry soap, toilet soap, bottled water, candle, and bottle water among others.

Topics: Department of Trade and Industry , DTI secretary Ramon Lopez , price hike
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