Prices of basic goods on wild swings in 9 months

Published July 5, 2022, 6:09 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Increases in prices of basic goods and prime commodities (BNPCs) registered wild swings from a minimum of less than a percent to a maximum of 50 percent over a nine-month period (August 2021-May 2022), data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) showed.

In a prepared briefer for DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual during the First Cabinet meeting Tuesday, July 5, presided by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to tackle economic issues, the DTI noted of the price changes over a nine-month period from August last year to May this year based on their suggested retail prices (SRP).

The last SRP bulletin was issued by the DTI in May this year under then Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

Already some manufacturers and producers have submitted petitions in their SRPs. DTI said it will conduct intensive review and verification process in granting requests for price adjustments.

The DTI data showed that the lowest minimum change in prices was 0.07 percent for coffee and a maximum 2.79 percent increase during the August 2021-May 2022 period. The highest minimum increase among BNPCs was bread at 9.30 percent and a maximum of 10 percent over nine months.

The price of salt went up by a minimum of 6.98 percent, but its maximum increase was at 50 percent over the nine-month period. Canned sardines also posted a minimum increase of 4.48 percent and maximum price change of 7.81 percent.

All BNPCs – milk, instant noodles, detergent soap, bottled water, candles, canned meat, condiments, toilet soap, and batteries — registered upward price changes.

DTI said that unstable prices of raw materials due to supply chain problems have affected prices of basic goods.

Manufacturers may either take on the extra costs themselves, find new ways to cut costs or pass rising prices along to customers who are already reluctant to spend. To stop price adjustments, DTI cited the need to efficiently manage soaring prices of fuel.

For its part, DTI seeks to establish more facilities that will empower consumers, ensure the availability of BNPCs at reasonable prices by closely monitoring prices and negotiating with manufacturers and producers.

The DTI said it will also keep track of price shifts from raw materials to finished products through the Consumer Protection Advocacy Bureau.