Big supermarkets absorb P10-loss per kilo of sugar sold, says DTI
Leading supermarket brands SM, Robinsons and Puregold are now selling sugar at P10-loss per kilo, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth Castelo confirmed during their weekly program at radio station DZBB that the three supermarket chains were buying sugar at P80 per kilo and selling them at P70 per kilo, equivalent to a P10-peso discount for every kilo of the commodity.
“SM, Robinsons and Puregold are enduring it to help the country,” Castelo said in Filipino, adding that President Marcos was able to convince these establishments to lower their prices.
“That is really good news for consumers so they can afford sugar at P70 per kilo,” the DTO official said, referring to white or refined sugar, as well as raw sugar.
Heeding the President’s call
On Aug. 19, Malacanang released a statement that the three supermarket chains have agreed to slash their selling price to P70 a kilo, from a high of P90 to P110 a kilo.
The three supermarkets reportedly agreed to sell a million kilos each of refined sugar at the reduced price, but on the condition that consumers could buy only 1 kilo each of the discounted sugar.
Castelo also urged the public not to hoard sugar, assuring there was plenty to go around.
“There is enough sugar. We don’t need to hoard and hoard,” the trade official said further in Filipino.
The DTI official said this provided a cheaper option for consumers, who can buy from these supermarkets instead of from other establishments that are selling them at higher prices.
Earlier on Aug. 23, an industry group of smaller supermarkets called for government intervention in their case, saying that only bigger supermarket chains stood to benefit from the current measure.
“Smaller retailers cannot absorb this loss,” Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association (Pagasa) president Steven Cua told the Inquirer in an earlier interview.
Instead, Cua proposed that the government compel suppliers to sell washed sugar to all retailers at P68 per kilo for a one-time order. This is seen to give smaller supermarkets a chance to sell those at P70 per kilo and make a 3-percent profit margin, Cua added.
Uniwide Sales, RFC Supermart, Cesar’s Supermart, Liana’s Supermart and Welcome Supermart are some of the members of the small supermarket industry group. INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.