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Price hikes on basic goods at 3-5%

PRICES of basic necessities and prime commodities will increase by 3 to 5 percent or P0.75 centavos to P1 per can of sardines and canned meats.

In a television interview, DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the price increases in basic goods, which will be issued via the new suggested retail prices (SRPs), will be the first adjustment in two years or since the last SRP was issued on September 30, 2019.

The new SRP will be published prior to their effectivity. DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Welfare and Protection Ruth Castelo said they are still finalizing the new SRP.

Lopez justified the upcoming price hikes based on their studies that showed increases in inputs to production such as raw materials and packaging.

Despite the increase in cost to production, he said, the prices of the basic goods have not gone up in two years.

But this time, the trade chief emphasized “It cannot be helped anymore” as companies are already complaining. Thus, DTI approved the price adjustment of 3-5 percent based on their 2019 SRP price levels.

Local consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) said the timing is so bad because there is still the threat of the pandemic, especially with the Delta variant that has already come into the country.

LKI President Victorio Mario Dimagiba also questioned the use of the 2019 data. He urged that DTI use year to date data to consider offsetting raw materials and the peso-dollar exchange rate.

Dimagiba said that at present, the SRP list of basic necessities and prime commodities includes canned sardines, processed and condensed milk (evaporated, condensed, powdered), coffee refill, instant noodles, salt (iodized and rock), detergent soap/laundry soap, bottled water (distilled, purified, mineral), candles, luncheon meat, corned beef, beef loaf, meat loaf, vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, toilet soap, and batteries.