By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is currently weighing requests for price adjustments from the canned sardine manufacturers before it could issue a new suggested retail price (SRP) on basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs).
DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez told reporters after the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) meeting Wednesday that his agency is set to come up with new SRP in the next two weeks.
He said they are just consolidating requests from a few canned sardine manufacturers for price adjustments. There are some 22 sardine brands in the market.
Meantime, the NPCC chairman reported that prices and supply of BNPCs have remained stable despite the onset of the El Nino, dry season phenomenon.
Sugar, however, is facing an oversupply and still at higher prices.He said they would like to see prices of sugar going down to P2,000 per 50-kilogram bag from the current P2,200 per bag for the sake of the food processors.
He said there has been abundant local sugar supply while those granted with authority to import have not yet fully utilized and still have sugar inventories in their warehouses.
Prices of rice have also gone down to below P38 per kilo with the new harvest and imports coming in.
The most likely to be affected of prolonged El Nino though could be vegetable production.
The Department of Agriculture is also expected to make an assessment on the impact of El Nino on crops production after the Holy Week and which areas in the country have been affected by the dry spell.
Fish supply is also stable, but if the dry season will continue it may have adverse impact on aquatic products grown in inland fishpond such as Bangus, tilapia and other cultured fresh water fishes.
Marine seafoods though will have no problem even with the dry spell.
Chicken and soft flour are also stable despite uptick in prices.
To guard against profiteering, Lopez said they are talking to public wet market administrators and the local government units, which have direct authority over their public markets.