In the wake of the significant price increase of basic goods this year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region XI advised Davao City consumers to report retailers that are exploiting the price hike by going beyond the department’s suggested retail prices (SRPs).

The price hike on January 27 and May 11, 2022 were implemented to make up for the price freeze last year due to the pandemic, and to cope with the global rise in production and transportation costs brought about by the Russo-Ukraine conflict. This prompted the DTI to implement higher SRPs for basic necessities and prime commodities, said DTI Davao City Field Director Rachel Remitio in an interview during the Madayaw Davao Program aired over the Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday. She said that some basic goods prices increased by 2-5% but others, like table salt, increased by 7-10%, resulting in an average of 7% price increase on all basic goods.

Basic goods, classified as basic necessities and prime commodities by the DTI, include canned goods, bread, instant noodles, coffee, soap, salt and other condiments. These are subject to stringent factory gate pricing and close SRP monitoring once they hit the shelves, as mandated by Republic Act No. 7581 also known as the Price Act. According to Director Remitio, all retailers and business establishments in Davao City that carry 80% of all 218 items listed as basic necessities and prime commodities are monitored by the DTI Davao City Field office three times a week. Remitio admitted that despite their efforts, cases of retailer overpricing remain rampant.

“Gina-intensify gyud namo ang amoang price-monitoring activities kay tungod every time we do monitoring naa gyud mi’y makita na mga paglabag sa atoang Price Act, meaning nilapas gyud ang mga gimonitor nga establishment sa suggested retail prices (We are intensifying our price-monitoring activities because each time we do monitoring inspections we still find violators to our Price Act, which means they are selling basic goods beyond the suggested retail prices),” Remitio said.

To help establish price stability in the city, the Davao City DTI Field Office urged Dabawenyos to practice consumer awareness by staying informed of DTI’s SRPs for basic goods and reporting cases of noncompliance. Remitio invited consumers to access DTI’s nationwide bulletin of SRP for basic necessities and prime commodities online through the e-Presyo website.

“Aside sa makita nato na sa mga retailers or supermarkets na required mupaskil sa suggested retail prices, kita as konsumante, kay karon in a way, very easy na man ‘no atong access sa technology, so pwede gyud nato ma-check sa atong cellphones through the e-Presyo … Naa didto ‘no naa’y suggested retail prices. So makita nato naa didto ang mga presyo sa atoang basic necessities and prime commodities … Kana siya na SRPs sa atong basic necessities and prime commodities, isa na siya ka bulletin na gipatuman nationwide (Aside from the suggested retail prices displays that are required of all retailers or supermarkets, we as consumers, because of easy access to technology, can now check using our phones through the e-Presyo … Suggested retail prices can be viewed from there. We can see on there the prices of our basic necessities and prime commodities. The SRP of our basic necessities and prime commodities—that is a bulletin imposed nationwide),” she added.

Aside from getting armed with information on national SRP for basic goods, the DTI is also urging consumers of Davao City to be vigilant and take an active part in controlling prices in the market by reporting any retailer violations or noncompliance. The DTI Davao City Field Office has launched the Negosyo Center Calinan, Negosyo Center Toril, Negosyo Center Davao City, and DTI Davao City Facebook pages as platforms for consumers who wish to send in reports.

“We are requesting the assistance ng publiko na kung kamo naa’y ma-observe na changes or paglabag sa SRPs sa atoang mga retailers, palihug ipahibalo sa amoa. Again, we have been promoting ang among access through the different Facebook accounts ng DTI kay kabalo man gyud ta na Facebook and Messenger man gyud ang pinaka-common na medium na ginagamit sa tanan (We are requesting for the assistance of the public that if you have observed changes or violations from our retailers, please inform us. Again, we have been promoting access through the different Facebook accounts of DTI because we know that Facebook and Messenger are the most common medium used by everyone),” Remitio urged.

Consumers with inquiries and complaints can call the DTI Davao City Field Office hotline: 224-0511. CIO