(Source: Manila Bulletin | January 15, 2016)
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) appeals for the reduction of suggested retail prices (SRPs) of basic necessities and prime commodities relative to the decrease in diesel and fuel oil prices.
Data from the Department of Energy reflect that retail prices of oil significantly declined in 2015 corresponding to a 25.81% price drop in diesel, 13.12% in fuel oil, and 4.27% in household liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
In 2015, the DTI observed that price rollbacks in selected brands of basic goods such as bread, coffee, flour, and milk were due to lower cost of raw materials and not attributed to the decline in prices of petroleum products.
Now, the DTI calls on the manufacturers, distributors and retailers to review their prices taking into account the dramatic price decrease in diesel, fuel oil and household LPG.
“It is high time to pass on to the consumers the savings incurred by the manufacturers, distributors and retailers of basic and prime goods from lower transportation and distribution cost by reducing their prices,” says newly appointed DTI Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr.
Trade Secretary Cristobal further notes that the public statement of Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on lowering prices of goods is well-taken by the agency.
Based on the assessment of the DTI, Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba explains that the drop in prices of petroleum products can translate to a reduction in SRPs of basic and prime goods by 0.05% to 3.04% or Php0.01 to Php26.46.
This means that canned sardines can go down by P0.14 per can, evaporated milk by P0.29 per can, condensed milk by P0.40 per can, powdered milk by P0.38 per pack, coffee refill by P0.31 per pack, instant noodles P0.08 per pack, corned beef by P0.26 per can, flour by P26.46 per bag, and cement by P1.48 per bag.
As for agricultural products categorized under basic and prime goods, the DTI will meet with the Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, 19 January 2016, to discuss the move for producers, farmers, dealers, and middlemen of fresh produce such as vegetables, fish, chicken, pork, beef and fruits to rollback their prices.
DTI is set to convene the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) by end of this month. This will be the first NPCC meeting to be presided by Trade Secretary Cristobal.
— Philippine News Agency