THE Trade department is in the final stages of reviewing petitions to raise prices from producers of canned sardines and instant noodles, among others, an official said.
Trade Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo said during BusinessWorld Live on One News Channel on Tuesday said price hike proposals were also received by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) from manufacturers of canned meat, coffee, bread, and detergent.
“We are still in the final stages of reviewing our recommendations for the Secretary (Alfredo E. Pascual). We are not saying that we are definitely increasing prices because we’re not yet done with the study,” Ms. Castelo said.
“It could take us probably a couple of weeks for us to complete and submit our recommendation for approval, and another couple of weeks probably for the Secretary to approve and for us to (move to) publication,” she added.
According to Ms. Castelo, the DTI only allows 30% of the 218 shelf keeping units that are included in its suggested retail price (SRP) bulletin to implement price increases at any one time. The DTI issued the latest SRP bulletin in May.
“We limit it to 30%… so that the consumers will find it easier to, and will have other choices also to buy, when they go out to the supermarket,” Ms. Castelo said.
Ms. Castelo said the price hike proposals cited the higher cost of raw materials such as wheat, as well as the weak peso and higher logistics costs.
“We negotiate with the manufacturers, we appeal to their corporate social responsibility, so that they will agree to (raise price sin) tranches, if ever, or agree to negotiate a lower price increase, if ever,” Ms. Castelo said.
Under Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, the Trade Secretary is authorized to issue suggested retail prices for any or all basic necessities and prime commodities to serve as guide for consumers, producers, manufacturers, traders, dealers, sellers, and retailers. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave