Prices of basic goods hiked, issues new SRP

Published August 30, 2021, 4:56 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued new suggested retail prices (SRPs) allowing higher prices on basic necessities and prime commodities by as much as P2 on various categories, while some remained unchanged.

Consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) immediately assailed the issuance of the new SRPs for being inconsiderate to consumers during this time of pandemic.

The new SRP issued Sunday, August 29, allowed higher prices on various categories and maintained some items compared to the previous SRP on September 30, 2019.

Under the new SRP, the categories that posted increases include canned sardines in tomato sauce (plus P0 .50 centavos to P0.75 per 155 gram can), condensed milk (plus P0.50 to P1.25), powdered milk (plus P0.50 to P1.35), coffee refill (plus P0.60), coffee 3 in 1 (plus P0.50), instant noodle (plus P0.25), iodized salt (P1.40 to P2.25), detergent (plus P1), canned meat (plus (P0.75 to P2), and vinegar (up to P0.50).

SRPs for bread, bottled Water, candles, toilet soap and battery are mostly unchanged.

LKI President Victorio Mario Dimagiba particularly assailed the higher prices in canned meat, milk products and sardines. He said increases in these products are exorbitant.

“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,” said Dimagiba.

Dimagiba said the price hikes will further worsen the country’s inflation level, which is expected to average 4.2 percent this year.

Although the DTI already earlier said that a 3-5 percent price increase in BNPCs would be negligible, Dimagiba said that looking at the real value of P1 per canned good is already worrisome for household budgets.

The new SRP also comes after the lifting of the price freeze under Proclamation No. 1143 that placed prices of basic necessities under automatic price control or automatically frozen at their prevailing prices due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever. The price freeze lasted sixty days, beginning 10 May 2021 and ending on 9 July 2021.

The DT said that there have been no prices hikes in the BNPCs under SRP since September 30, 2019 and it was about time to make adjustments. Manufacturers have petitioned the government for price adjustments due to higher cost of materials and other inputs.

The new SRP took effect immediately except for Safeguard white toilet soap (60g), which new price will take effect September 1, 2021, and Tide original scent detergent bar (380g) on October 1, 2021 yet.