MANILA - The Department of Trade and Industry yesterday said prices of goods are generally stable across the country, based on surveys done by the agency in key trading areas nationwide.
In a press briefing following the National Price Coordinating Council meeting, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the department has seen no dramatic increase in the prices of goods as feared by consumers as an effect of the new Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, or TRAIN law.
Aside from generally stable prices, particularly on basic commodities, some regions have prices even lower than the suggested retail prices.
Lopez noted that there has been reported anecdotal price increase, but based on 500 surveyed retailers nationwide, prices were stable.
For instance, prices of canned sardines - except for one brand - did not increase. One brand, Lucky 7, has reduced its sardine products’ prices in some parts of the country, even below the SRP.
Prices of milk products, both processed and powdered, as well as coffee, were stable.
No price hike was monitored for bread and instant noodles.
Flour prices were the same from last year at P730 for hard flour, and P580 for soft flour per 25-kg. bag.
Cement prices were stable at P212 per 40-kg bag.
The top trade official, on the other hand, said the Department of Agriculture, DTI, and economic managers should discuss if rice should have an SRP, as suggested during a Congress hearing.
“The price of rice, it’s usually market driven. We’re operating always on market-based pricing. What we need is to keep an eye on profiteering moves,” Lopez said in Filipino.*PNA
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