By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Thirty-five or a fourth of the 139 basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) monitored have increased their suggested retail prices (SRPs), but only 22 products have actual price hikes, the latest price monitoring of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) showed.
DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, however, said the price hikes of some of these BNPCs cannot be blamed for the skyrocketing inflation rate which already hit 5.2 percent in June, noting the inflation was largely pushed by non-essential items.
“The 5.2 percent inflation in June reflects the higher prices of products especially the non-essentials like alcoholic beverage and tobacco. Because of purposive excise tax, inflation was also affected by other essentials such as transport, education, housing utilities, and agri products (such as) corn, vegetables and meats, which were affected by supply,” Lopez said.
Based on the latest DTI price monitoring for June 18 to 22 versus November 2017 or a month before the higher taxes under TRAIN Law took effect on January 1, 2018, it showed that 35 products out of the 139 BNPCs have adjusted their SRPs.
But Lopez stressed that only 22 products have actual price increases which is 15.83 percent only of the total number of BNPCs monitored.
In terms of basic necessities, the DTI monitored 98 products of which 10 have actual price increases. These are canned sardines in tomato sauce — two brands out of seven — with four percent to seven percent price hike; one brand of processed canned milk with two percent increase; a coffee refill brand with one percent price hike; and six brands of candle with a two percent to 17 percent price increase.
This led Lopez to conclude that prices of basic necessities have remained stable as he stressed that 83 out of 98 products monitored have no changes in prices.
“This does not support inflation increase because the products that moved up are not these products,” he pointed out.
Lopez attributed the increase in canned goods to the higher prices of tinplates in the world market and the candle to higher oil prices.
In terms of SRP of basic necessities, Lopez pointed out that only eight shelf keeping units (SKUs) had adjusted higher their price ranges. These include three brands of sardines in tomato sauce with increases of three percent to 11 percent and five brands of candle with six percent to eight percent price hike.
On prime commodities, the DTI monitoring showed that 12 SKUs had actual price increases out of 41. These include 10 canned meat (luncheon meat, meat loaf, corned beef and beef loaf) with one percent to 10 percent price hike; one condiment brand with seven percent price hike; and a toilet soap brand with six percent increase.
SRPs on 27 prime commodities have also been adjusted upward including 18 canned meat by two percent to 32 percent although one brand also reduced its SRP. There were eight condiment brands with higher SRPs at four percent to 15 percent while a toilet soap brand was also adjusted by four percent.