Prices of school supplies in GenSan stable

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/28 May) — Retail prices of school supplies and other related items sold in commercial establishments here have remained stable in the last several weeks, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expects no major price adjustments in the days leading to the opening of classes.

Ken Wong, DTI’s consumer arbitration officer here, said their latest monitoring showed that the prevailing prices of school supplies in the area are within their suggested retail prices (SRP) while some items are even being offered at bargain.

He said their ongoing monitoring activities specifically covered shopping malls, department stores and other retail establishments.

Among the items included in the agency’s price watch are notebooks, writing pads, pencils, crayons and ball pens, he said.

The current retail prices of these items range from P12 to P49, depending on their quality classification and brand, the agency reported.

It said some items are sold per piece while others are either in packs of three to five units or in assorted promotional packages.

Wong said that due to the competition among local commercial establishments, especially the shopping malls and department stores, some school supply items are sold at prices way below their SRP.

“There are stores that offer some items at P2 cheaper and even lower when compared with the others,” the official said.

Wong said the DTI and the city’s consumers’ council are presently making joint inspections among local commercial and retail establishments to make sure that the prices of school supplies will remain within their SRP.

He said they are also checking the quality and safety of the items being sold or on display as part of the agency’s consumer welfare and protection functions.

Baby Rodriguez, president of the city’s consumers’ council, they will continue to help monitor the prices of supplies in the area to make sure that local establishments will abide by their SRP until the classes eventually open.

“The prices of our school supplies are within the standard rates and public should not worry about possible overpricing or related problems with the intensified monitoring that we’ve been doing,” she said.

To save on their school supply purchases, Rodriguez advised local residents to only buy the needed items and check some local establishments for bargain and promotional offers.

She added that they should always check the quality of the items before buying them and immediately report to the DTI any problems that they might encounter with regards to their purchases. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)