DTI clarifies SRP issues

Published June 24, 2022, 6:18 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the agency has all the legal backings enabling it to issue suggested retail price (SRP) bulletins for basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) under its jurisdiction.

DTI issued this clarification after the Canned Sardines Association of the Philippines questioned the legal basis of the DTI issuing the SRP bulletin.

As one of the implementing agencies of Republic Act No. 7581, or the Price Act, as amended, and as chairman of the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC), DTI strongly emphasizes the existence and validity of the laws and issuances authorizing the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) Bulletin for Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities (BNPC).

The Department stresses that Executive Order No. 913 (1983) vests the Trade Secretary with the power and authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions and intent of “trade and industry laws”. Correlatively, the Price Act, as amended, authorizes the DTI Secretary to issue, from time to time, suggested reasonable retail prices for any or all BNPC under the Department’s jurisdiction.

The DTI informs the public that the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers themselves set and submit the SRP of their products. To verify the reasonableness of proposed price adjustments, the DTI requires the submission of supporting documents pursuant to Department Administrative Order No. 17-09, or the Guidelines on the Implementation of SRP of the BNPC under the Jurisdiction of DTI.

Further, the DTI also conducts independent research to validate the data submitted by the manufacturers. Clearly, the DTI approved and published SRP is but a reiteration of the supporting documents provided by manufacturers/producers, albeit adjusted according to relevant market factors, and to avoid profiteering.

“When manufacturers/producers submit their proposed SRP, they are bound to comply with the same and are estopped from selling at higher prices,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

He added “In fact, manufacturers/producers are fully-aware that the primary function of the SRP Bulletin is to inform and guide the public and keep them from deceitful or unconscionable transactions. Ultimately, any drastic deviation from the SRP is against public policy, and manufacturers/producers are not allowed to renege from their representations and submissions.”