Trade dep’t scored for SRP hike

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    A consumer group has filed a complaint against the Department of Trade and Industry-Consumer Protection Group (DTI-CPG) with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) for its failure to act on a request to investigate increases in suggested retail prices (SRPs) of some commodities.

    Vic Dimagiba, president of Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI), said DTI-CPG ignored his letter dated Sept. 19, 2019 seeking to prevent the increases in SRP of basic goods and instead proceeded with the adjustments by publishing the new SRPs on its website and in a national daily on September 30,

    Dimagiba said to date, LKI has not received a reply from the agency.

    Dimagiba said ARTA deputy director-general Ernesto Perez has acknowledged LKI’s sentiment and noted that all inquiries lodged to an agency deserve a reply.

    LKI in the September 19 letter submitted data backing his claims the increases do not have sufficient justification.

    Effective September 30, the SRPs of certain brands of sardines, processed milk, condiments and canned meat were increased.

    That was the fourth round of SRP hike for the year.

    Topping the list of year-to-date price increases are 27 brands or stock keeping units (SKUs) of canned sardines, 26 brands of processed milk, 26 brands of condiments, 10 brands of canned meat and 14 brands of iodize salt.

    For coffee refill, six brands raised prices and one popular brand of 3-in-1 coffee increased its prices twice for the year.

    Based on the computation of LKI, the price hikes in sardines range from 25 centavos to P1 per can depending on the brand and size.

    Coffee refill prices have increased by a range of 20 to 65 centavos while a popular 3-in-1 brand of raised its price for the second time this year, to 50 centavos from last June’s P1 hike, bringing the total increase to P1.50 per sachet.

    One brand of noodles raised its price by 45 centavos.

    Prices of luncheon meat, meat loaf and beef loaf of a leading brand increased by 30 centavos to P1.

    Vinegar prices are up 35 and 75 centavos depending on the size; while patis is up 80 centavos to P1.25. The price of soy sauce is up 45 to 85 centavos.

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