No price hikes on basic goods - DTI

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez is not considering any price increase on basic necessities and prime commodities while big retailers also opposed price hikes as the economy is in recession.

“We have not considered any price increase,” said Lopez as he clarified that although there have been petitions for price hikes by manufacturers after holding off price hikes in the suggested retail prices of BNPCs during the Christmas season.

Earlier, DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said DTI already approved a 9 percent increase in some brands of sardines, canned meat, condiments, coffee, milk products and detergents.

 “Those are petitions, but costings still being reviewed carefully by DTI,” said Lopez adding that if there should be no price hike if there is no price hike in a major product component.

 Steven Cua, president of the Philippines Amalgamated Supermarkets Association, also echoed the position of Lopez against any price hikes on basic commodities.

“There is no point in increasing prices in a stifled market with very limited budget. We are in a recession. Let's slowly but surely pry ourselves out of this mud,” said Cua.