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'Market forces' may set suggested retail prices – DTI draft order

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Tuesday said its plan to streamline the process of approving suggested retail prices (SRPs) of basic necessities and prime commodities entails leaving it up to market forces.

Under a draft Department Administrative Order (DAO), the department will allow "market forces to determine the movement in supply and demand, wherein industry players can compete with each other and the freedom to seek reasonable profits through increased efficiency and greater production that can lead to more supply and lower prices."

"As a result nung National Price Coordinating Council meeting noong April and last week, we developed a department order that will be addressing the implementation of SRPs for necessities and prime commodities under the jurisdiction of DTI," Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB) Officer-in-Charge Lilian Salonga told reporters in a briefing.

"So, dito po sa department order na 'to nakasaad na hindi na po kailangan ng prior approval ng DTI bago ipatupad ang kanilang SRPs," Salonga said.

"Bagamat, irrerequire pa rin namin sila na magbigay ng notification – 30 days prior to its implementation – para po madisseminate ito sa mga kaukulan na establisyemento, sa mga consumers at sa aming mga monitors," she added

The proposed order gives manufacturers a free hand to adjust prices without pre-approval from the government. All they need to do is notify the DTI regarding the SRPs of products.

A list of SRPs must be submitted to the government a month before the new prices are implemented so that the information may be relayed to DTI regional and provincial offices and then to the retailers and consumers.

Salonga said the proposed DAO would not let DTI be "precluded from requiring manufacturers to submit pertaining documents relative to price adjustments." — VDS, GMA News