Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DTI to carry out tight watch on prices

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is strictly monitoring the retail market, especially in the following weeks in order to forestall any unjustified increase in prices of basic commodities, particularly canned products.

This, as the Tin Can Makers Association of the Philippines, Inc. announced that 202 by 306-milimeter tin cans used for canned sardines and corned beef has gone up by P0.35-P0.40 per piece to a range of P3.35 to P3.40 this month.

Trade and Industry Secretary Peter B. Favila stated, “We assure the public that the Price Act will be strictly enforced during the course of our monitoring activities. We want to prevent unscrupulous retailers from raising their prices out of mere speculation so that the consumers do not have to pay more than what is due them.”

DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Welfare Zenaida Cuison Maglaya added that aside from monitoring the price situation in the metropolis, the DTI has also mobilized market monitoring teams in other parts of the country as well through its regional and provincial offices, as well as tap the assistance of local government units to avert any undue increase in the price of goods.

Secretary Favila warned that retailers tend to jack up their prices higher than the projected levels and do so immediately in spite of having an existing inventory that should be sold at current values.

Only canned sardines manufacturers in Zamboanga has announced intentions to increase the price of their 155-gram products by P0.50-P1 in the coming weeks due to rising tin plate prices in the world market. Imported tin plates comprise 70 percent of tin can production costs.

Tin can costs make up about 20-45 percent of the total retail price of canned goods, varied depending on the type of commodity.

DTI’s latest price report reveal that a 155-gram can of sardines costs between P10-11, while a 165-gram can of luncheon meat is sold at P23 to 26.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Maglaya reminded consumers to practice wise buying to get the best value for their hard-earned peso. “One of the ways is to practice comparing prices. With so many brands to choose from with varying range of prices, the consumers can exercise their right to choose and buy one which suits their budget best.”

She also urged the public to report complaints in price and/ or quality, NFA rice diversion, hoarding and profiteering activities to DTI Direct 751-3330 open from Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm or call the nearest DTI Regional and Provincial offices. Complaint may also be sent by keying in DTImessage and send to 2920 for both Globe and Smart subscribers. (end)

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