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SRP issuance has legal basis – DTI

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
SRP issuance has legal basis â DTI
In a statement yesterday, the DTI said the agency, among those implementing Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, as amended, and serving as chairman of the National Price Coordinating Council, underscored the existence and validity of laws and issuances authorizing the SRP bulletin for basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs).
Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) emphasized the issuance of a suggested retail price (SRP) bulletin for basic goods is authorized by law, amid questions being raised on its legal basis.

In a statement yesterday, the DTI said the agency, among those implementing Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, as amended, and serving as chairman of the National Price Coordinating Council, underscored the existence and validity of laws and issuances authorizing the SRP bulletin for basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs).

The statement comes following reports that the Canned Sardines Association of the Philippines said there is no enabling law and legal foundation on the SRP.

The DTI cited Executive Order 913 issued in 1983 which vests the trade secretary with the power and authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions and intent of “trade and industry laws.”

It also said that under the Price Act, the DTI secretary is authorized to issue, from time to time, suggested reasonable retail prices for any or all BNPCs under its jurisdiction to guide producers, manufacturers, traders, dealers, sellers, retailers and consumers.

In addition, the DTI said it requires the submission of supporting documents to determine if proposed price adjustments from the manufacturers are reasonable in line with Department Administrative Order 17-09 or the Guidelines on the Implementation of SRP of the BNPC under the agency’s jurisdiction.

To validate data provided by manufacturers, the DTI conducts its own research.

As such, the DTI said the approved and published SRP is but a reiteration of the supporting documents provided by manufacturers or producers, but adjusted according to relevant market factors and to avoid profiteering.

“When manufacturers or producers submit their proposed SRP, they are bound to comply with the same and are estopped from selling at higher prices,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

He also said manufacturers or producers know that the SRP Bulletin is issued to serve as a guide to the public and keep them from deceitful or unconscionable transactions.

“Ultimately, any drastic deviation from the SRP is against public policy, and manufacturers or producers are not allowed to renege on their representations and submissions,” he said.

The SRP bulletin issued by the DTI covers basic necessities such as canned sardines, processed milk, coffee, bread, instant noodles, salt, detergent soap or laundry soap, bottled water and candles, as well as prime commodities like canned meat – luncheon meat, meat loaf, corned beef and beef loaf; condiments like vinegar, fish sauce (patis) and soy sauce; toilet soap and batteries.

Earlier, the DTI said it is studying the requests received from manufacturers to adjust the SRPs of products such as bread, canned sardines, canned meat and instant noodles, given rising cost of inputs.

The latest SRP list was released by the DTI last May 11.

Under the latest bulletin issued by the DTI, SRPs of 82 stock-keeping units increased, including canned sardines, processed milk, instant noodles, salt, detergent soap, processed canned meat and canned beef, toilet soap, battery, coffee and condiments.

Consumers may report those found selling BNPCs higher than the SRPs by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the One-DTI (1-384) Hotline.

DTI

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