14 supermarkets, grocery stores ordered to explain high Christmas food prices | Inquirer Business

14 supermarkets, grocery stores ordered to explain high Christmas food prices

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 07:02 PM November 13, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—Fourteen supermarkets and grocery stores were found to be selling Noche Buena products at prices higher than their suggested retail prices (SRPs), based on the latest monitoring activity of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

In a statement, the DTI said four supermarkets in Quezon City, namely Daily Supermarket in P. Tuazon; Mighty Mart in Project 8; Purity Supermarket in E. Rodriguez Sr.; and Supermart 2000 in T. Morato Avenue were issued show cause orders (SCOs), giving them five days to explain why they were selling such products at higher prices.

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FILE PHOTO

FILE PHOTO

Warning letters were, meanwhile, sent to 10 other grocery stores in Pasig City, San Juan, Caloocan, Valenzuela, and, Quezon City for selling Noche Buena goods at prices up to 50 centavos higher than what were listed in the SRP list.

The goods being sold at higher prices included ham, spaghetti sauce, cheese, tomato sauce, fruit cocktail, cream, pasta (spaghetti), elbow and salad macaroni and mayonnaise.

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Trade Undersecretary Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said the DTI would continue to intensify its price and supply monitoring activities for Noche Buena products to warn retailers of the agency’s close watch on market movements, and at the same time, enjoin consumers to be vigilant in their purchases particularly this Christmas season.

“The DTI (seeks) the full cooperation of manufacturers, importers, distributors, wet markets, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, malls and other merchandise stores, through their associations, federations, organizations and groups to ensure stable prices and supply for Noche Buena products in the market,” Dimagiba said.

It was crucial, he added, for organizations to police their respective ranks to promote healthy competition and prevent violations of the Fair Trade laws such as the Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines; RA 7581 or Price Act; and RA 4901 or the Standards Law.

“We urge them to not only promote business for profit and growth but also to implement best practices for consumer protection,” Dimagiba said.

Meanwhile, the DTI also found that some brands of bottled water were being sold at “very high prices” at the NAIA Terminal 3 airport and various bus terminals within the National Capital Region, based on monitoring activities conducted last month.

The DTI disclosed that Nature’s Spring Drinking Water was the most common brand of bottled water that was sold above the SRP, reflecting a P3.10 to as much as P20.10 difference when compared with the SRPs. Other brands were Absolute, Summit, and Viva, which were being sold at P2 to P13 above the SRPs, the trade agency added.

According to Dimagiba, the DTI has already summoned the Philippine Spring Water Resources, Inc., manufacturer of Nature’s Spring Drinking Water, for a meeting last Monday to explain the findings of the price monitoring team.

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Claugene M. Gener, key account specialist of Philippine Spring Water, was quoted by the DTI as saying that the company was not aware of their products being sold at higher prices. Gener had said that they would inform their retailers to adhere to the SRPs for bottled water.

“The DTI issued the SRPs for bottled water in February of this year, which already included the mark up for distributors and retailers. As such, there is no reason for them to sell bottled water at very high prices,” Dimagiba stressed.

“The responsibility of manufacturers does not stop with the production and distribution of goods in the market. They must also ensure that their retailers are complying with the SRPs that they themselves have determined,” he added.

Under Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, penalties for illegal price manipulation such as profiteering included imprisonment of up to 15 years, and administrative fine of up to P1 million.

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Prices of 10 ‘Noche Buena’ items go up; DTI issues SRP

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TAGS: Business, Christmas feast, Christmas holidays, Consumer goods, Department of Trade and Industry, grocery stores, holiday season, Inflation, Noche Buena, Noche Buena products, price monitoring, price watch, Retail, Suggested Retail Prices, supermarkets
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