Tuesday, March 20, 2018
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DTI says basic prices remain stable

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said the prices of basic goods and commodities have so far remained stable.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, he said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) conducted a survey nationwide in key trading areas to see how prices moved across different basic goods and commodities.

He, however, could not reconcile DTI’s findings with the latest report on inflation for the month of February, noting that he had only seen the basket of goods— which are the products and services monitored to track inflation —for the month of January.


“In general, what we are still seeing is stable price,” he said, though noting that there might be “isolated cases.” He did not elaborate.

This comes amid fears that the TRAIN law might push the prices higher, especially given higher excise taxes on fuel.

Despite concerns raised by industry groups, the government passed the TRAIN law late last year, lowering the personal income tax of many Filipinos at the expense of increasing consumption taxes on cars, coal, fuel and sweetened beverages, among others.

With the new rates, Lopez previously said the excise tax on fuel would affect the transportation cost of manufacturers, but this would only account for less than 5 percent of the overall production cost, considered a negligible amount.

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