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DTI urged to review SRP of basic goods

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 03/12/2021 Louella Desiderio
DTI urged to review SRP of basic goods © Philstar.com / Era Christ R. Baylon DTI urged to review SRP of basic goods

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s largest food industry association is calling on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to revisit the suggested retail prices (SRPs) of basic necessities to help firms recover losses amid the pandemic and meet consumer demand.

The Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers Inc. (PCFMI), in a statement yesterday, said the prices of basic necessities under the SRP bulletin released by the DTI have been unchanged since August this year.

Prior to the release of the SRP bulletin in August, the last was issued in September 2019.

Basic necessities and prime commodities include canned and other food products, bottled water, dairy, as well as common household or kitchen supplies.

PCFMI said some of the SRPs are set below the purchase prices of retailers like supermarkets.

As such, the group said local food manufacturers are finding it difficult to keep up with the rising demand, especially with the approaching Christmas season.

“There is a need to regularly update the SRPs of basic commodities to help food manufacturers recover from the losses due to the pandemic,” Helen Grace Baisa, PCFMI first vice president and chair for legislative committee, said.

Under Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, the government must make sure basic necessities and prime commodities are available at reasonable prices, especially during emergency situations.

PCFMI said food manufacturers, however, bear the brunt of outdated SRPs.

“We believe that a whole-of-nation approach is necessary to provide the public with access to affordable food and that businesses are assured of government support in facing unprecedented disruptions in the food industry,” the group said.

“As more Filipinos are able to consume more this coming holiday season, we trust that DTI will give equal importance to the voice of the food industry to ensure business stability,” Baisa said.

PCFMI has more than 100 member companies engaged in the production of canned goods, ready-to-eat meals, baked goods, dairy, coffee and noodles, among others.

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