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DTI eyes SRP on laptops, tablets

/ 05:10 AM August 27, 2020

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is studying whether or not it should place a suggested retail price (SRP) on laptops and tablets, even though its latest review showed some popular brands have already cut prices on their own.

If ever, this would mark the first time that the DTI would impose an SRP on laptops and tablets, reflecting the change in the times as the pandemic left schools and offices no choice but to hold classes and mee­tings online and at home.

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Ruth Castelo, who heads DTI’s consumer protection group, said they have submitted their recommendation to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who would then have the last say on the issue. She declined to share the group’s recommendation in the meantime.

“We have made a study on this and found numerous variations in design, size, specification and source. Competition in the market is high and we have observed that a lot of retailers bring down the cost to make it more competitive,” she said in a Viber message on Wednesday.

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“We have submitted the recommendation and are awaiting [his] decision,” she said, noting that the “demand is high.”

However, a DTI survey on 15 laptop models and five tablet models showed a drop in retail prices across the list, even without government intervention. Their prices as of Aug. 6 were compared to their prices back in February this year.

For example, a KUU laptop that could be bought on Lazada has a retail price of P8,929, which is 46-percent lower from its price in February this year at P16,399.

This was the most affor­dable laptop on the list and also the one with the steepest decline in price.

On the other hand, the most expensive laptop in the survey is a model from Dell, which could be bought online at Abenson for P65,940, a 13-percent drop from P76,000.

The most expensive Tablet in the list costs P16,499, a Huawei tablet that saw a 13-percent drop in price from February. Meanwhile, the most affordable is a Lenovo tablet, which now costs P5,990, or a 14-percent price reduction.

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TAGS: Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), laptops, suggested retail price (SRP), tablets
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