DTI readies school items price guide

Published August 4, 2022, 2:37 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The “Balik Eskwela” price guide for consumers to know the cost and where to buy school supplies has been prepared for approval by Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual.

Face-to-face classes are slated to start on Monday, August 22, as the Department of Education rejected appeals by some stakeholders to delays the opening of classes for at least two weeks to give teachers more time to prepare.

DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Group Ruth Castelo explained that the “Balik Eskwela” is just a price guide for consumers and where they can buy these school supplies.

Castelo said prices of each item vary due to quality, make, and volume. She said the price guide is just awaiting approval from Pascual before its release.

Items in the “Balik Eskwela” price guide comes in different brands of school supplies like notebooks, pad papers, pencil, ball pens, eraser, crayons, sharpener and ruler.

Normally, DTI also reminds school supplies buyers to carefully read the labels to check if the school supplies have toxic or hazardous ingredients. Labeling regulations require markings like number of pages, weight, size, hardness (for pencils), type classification (for ballpens), brand name, trademark, manufacturer’s name and address.

Castelo further explained that this particular price guide for school items is separate from the suggested retail price (SRP) for basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs). It is also seasonal in nature as it comes out during enrolment season only. The DTI has been coming out with the “Balik Eskwela” price guide every year except in pandemic years 2020 and 2021.

According to the Department of Education, by Nov. 2, “all public and private schools shall have transitioned to 5 days of in-person classes,” except those duly accredited for the Alternative Delivery Modes.