DTI to ensure stable consumer prices this Christmas
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it would monitor prices of basic goods to ensure there would be no additional burden on consumers this holiday season, but stopped short of saying what it would do in case prices do increase.
The prices of basic goods and services already increased in October, with the inflation rate rising to 2.5 percent from 2.3 percent in the previous month.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, however, said this was still within the government’s 2020 inflation target.
Lopez said in a statement on Monday that with the supply issues on fish and pork products, continued pressure in production costs led to the slight increase in inflation.
“With the present typhoon season, disruptions caused by these extreme weather conditions pose risks particularly to our food price stability and food security,” he said.
“However, we will continue working with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ensure that both our consumers and producers are looked after,” he added.
Lopez said there was still a price freeze in areas declared under a state of calamity after these were devastated by Typhoon “Quinta” during the last week of October. These, he said, include Albay, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro and Cavite.
A price freeze is also automatically implemented in provinces that declared a state of calamity after being hit by Typhoon “Rolly,” he said.
“As for areas not under a state of calamity, they are still being monitored in accordance with the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) scheme,” Lopez explained.
The DTI said it was scheduled to release an updated SRP scheme this month. Lopez earlier reassured the public that there would be no price increase for several noche buena products after working closely with major producers of these products.
“Many major brands have heeded our call to keep prices stable in view of the pandemic and the hardships of our fellow Filipinos. We continue to expect more brands to join in this bayanihan effort,” the trade chief said. INQ
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