DTI assures no shortage of basic, prime goods in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 27 Sept) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Davao City has heightened its monitoring to ensure prices of goods are within the suggested retail prices (SRPs) and assured consumers here that there’s no shortage of basic and prime commodities in the local markets.

In an interview on Thursday, DTI-Davao assistant regional director Edwin Banquerigo told MindaNews said they do weekly monitoring at 48 major grocery supermarkets, distributors, retailers, and other establishments to ensure compliance with the September 1, 2018 SRPs as the country’s inflation rate surged.

He said the agency observed that most of the items classified as prime and basic commodities were sold at prices within or lower than the SRPs, which were already adjusted to cope with the increasing costs of some production inputs.

“We set suggested retail prices and just recently we have a massive monitoring requirement because of the escalation of prices, but it’s good thing that some are even selling lower the SRP but these SRP are not set by DTI. It is set in consultation with the industry. We have to factor in all costs, logistics, and packaging,” he said.

He warned that establishments that do not comply with SRPs will be accosted and may face charges for violating Republic Act 7581, also known as The Price Act of 1992.

“Companies that do not follow will be issued with show cause order explaining why they did not follow the SRP and to those that really violate, they are corresponding charges,” he said.

Banquerigo said increases have been noted in the prices of agricultural commodities such as fish, meat, and vegetables in the city. He said the implementation of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program could not be blamed for the price increases.

Robert Barlis, Consumer Protection Division chief at DTI-Davao City, said the Price Act mandates the agency to monitor prices of basic commodities (bottled water, loaf bread, pandesal, candles, canned sardines, coffee, instant noodles, laundry soap, processed milk, and salt) and prime commodities (batteries, canned beef, condiments, flour, and soap).

“Although we try to cover other establishments, we focus on the bigger establishments because they have the most consumers. We try to cover as many. We regularly monitor 48 establishments but outside the 48, we also cover,” he said.

He said they determine the price trends based on commodities sold in 48 bigger establishments. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)