MANILA – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual is considering to launch a study "to what extent competition in the consumer products market is happening in the Philippines".
In a press conference in Makati City Tuesday, Pascual said the study will involve basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs), which are covered by the Price Act.
"I want to study to what extent competition in the consumer products market is happening in the Philippines, whether there's enough competition in the consumer products market, which might lead to a review of the SRPs (suggested retail prices) under the Price Act," he added.
Under the Price Act, the DTI issues SRPs on BNPCs to ensure that retailers will not price these goods beyond the recommended prices.
The SRPs are coordinated by the National Price Coordinating Council, which is composed of both public and private sectors.
"When I first came in to DTI, my initial impulse is government should not be doing the SRP. DTI should just make sure, in collaboration with the Philippine Competition Commission, that there is competition in the market," Pascual said.
"SRP has negative effects as well. For example, I can see at a lower price, but the SRP allows me to sell at this price," he added.
He said that in a way, imposing SRPs creates a notion that the government is interfering in the work of a free market.
The DTI chief also observed that in the Noche Buena price guide, manufacturers have submitted the recommended retail price of their products without consulting with the other producers, and the price range is noticeable. This will enable consumers to decide which products to buy. (PNA)