Food chamber urges DTI to revisit outdated SRP

Published December 3, 2021, 12:38 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The country’s largest food industry association is urging the Department of Trade of Industry (DTI) to revisit the suggested retail prices (SRPs) of basic necessities and prime commodities stressing they are struggling to meet high consumer demand amid outdated prices.

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In a statement, the Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers Inc. (PCFMI) has sought for upward adjustments in the SRP for basic necessities and prime commodities. PCFMI noted that the latest SRP bulletin released by the DTI in August this year still maintained the September 2019 prices.

PCFMI noted that some prices of the items in the SRP are even below the purchase prices of retailers such as supermarkets and food manufacturers. As a result, the group said, local food manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the increasing demand especially with the upcoming Christmas season.

“There is a need to regularly update the SRPs of basic commodities to help food manufacturers recover from the losses due to the pandemic,” said PCFMI 1st Vice President and Chairperson for Legislative Committee Helen Grace Baisa.

Under Republic Act No. 7581, otherwise known as the Price Act, the national government is mandated to ensure the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices especially during emergency situations. Food manufacturers, however, bear the brunt of the outdated price ceilings, which are lower than the market rates.

The food chamber, whose membership consists of more than 100 members, comprise of companies engaged in the production of canned goods, ready-to-eat meals production, baked goods, dairy, coffee, and noodles among others.

“We believe that a whole-of-nation approach is necessary to provide the public with access to affordable food and that businesses are assured of government support in facing unprecedented disruptions in the food industry,” PCFMI added.

They added that food supply chains globally have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as nations try to contain the spread of the virus, prompting pivotal shifts in demand and exposing logistical bottlenecks.

“As more Filipinos are able to consume more this coming holiday season, we trust that DTI will give equal importance to the voice of the food industry to ensure business stability,” Baisa said.

 
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