Prices of 10 ‘Noche Buena’ items go up; DTI issues SRP
MANILA, Philippines–Prices of 10 noche buena items have increased based on the 2014 Suggested Retail Prices (SRP) list issued by the Department of Trade and Industry on Wednesday.
These price increases, which ranged from 15 centavos to P97.30 per piece, covered several brands of ham, fruit cocktail, cheese, sandwich spread, mayonnaise, queso de bola, macaroni, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and cream. The only Noche Buena item that did not register an increase was the elbow and salad macaroni.
Trade Undersecretary Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba explained that these increases were due to the rising cost of the raw materials or ingredients for making these products such as pork (liempo, kasim and pata front), and milk.
There are, however, other variants of these products and other brands selling ham, pasta and elbow and salad macaroni that did not adjust their prices, according to the DTI.
The SRP for Noche Buena products is meant to serve as a guide for consumers in their purchases during the holiday season. At the same time, it is meant to serve as a warning to retailers to ensure that they sell these products within the set price ceilings.
“The SRPs are provided by manufacturers to set retail prices of products. With the published SRPs, consumers are guided on whether the goods sold are overpriced or above the profit margin,” Dimagiba said.
“The DTI intensifies its market-monitoring activities particularly for Noche Buena products to ensure stable prices and supplies this Christmas season and protect consumers from unscrupulous traders taking advantage of the spike in shopping activities,” he said.
The complete list can be viewed at the DTI website and will be published in major newspapers. Government will also require its posting in supermarkets and retail stores nationwide.
Dimagiba warned that retailers found selling above the SRPs will be asked to explain and show the cost of acquisition. If found guilty of violating the Price Act, the manufacturer or distributor would be slapped with a fine of up to P1 million. Criminal liability for illegal price manipulation may also result in imprisonment of not more than 15 years and a maximum fine of P2 million.
Meanwhile, consumers in Metro Manila can avail of discounts between 10 and 50 percent for certain basic and prime goods, home appliances and motorcycle helmets as the Diskwento Caravan, the flagship project of the DTI, again makes its rounds across the country.
The caravans were to be rolled out starting on Wednesday (Oct. 8) in celebration of the Consumer Welfare Month.
The Diskwento Caravan is composed of manufacturers and distributors of basic necessities and prime commodities that the DTI and the Department of Agriculture monitor in the market. These products include rice, fresh meat, vegetables, sugar, cooking oil, canned meat and fish, bread, processed meat, detergent soap, instant noodles, and milk.
Also included in the caravan are the manufacturers and importers of such products as home appliances, Christmas lights, and motorcycle helmets, which are covered in the DTI’s product certification scheme and have been issued the Philippine Standard (PS) license and/or the import commodity clearance (ICC) certificate.
The Diskwento Caravan in Makati City will be open until Thursday (Oct. 9) while the operative dates for other areas of Metro Manila are as follows: Oct. 13 to 14 at the Mandaluyong City Hall; Oct.15, Quezon City Hall; Parañaque City Hall, Oct. 16 to 17; Pasig City Hall, Oct. 22 to 23; Makati City, Nov. 7 ; Pateros Municipal Hall, Nov. 29. For the schedules of Diskwento Caravan in other regions and provinces, consumers can check the DTI website or call the trade office.