MANILA – With more Christmas season shoppers beginning to flock to the bustling commercial centers, particularly in Divisoria, Senator Mark Villar on Wednesday urged the public to report traders and vendors who do not follow the government’s suggested retail price (SRP).
Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, made this call after joining Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual and other Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) officials in the price monitoring activity of Noche Buena items in Divisoria in Manila.
"Ngayong malapit na po ang kapaskuhan, kailangan na mas mahigpit ang ating monitoring ng mga presyo ng produkto upang masigurado na magiging masaya ang Pasko ng ating kapwa Pilipino (Now that the holiday season is approaching, it is necessary that we monitor product prices more strictly to ensure that our fellow Filipinos will have a happy Christmas)," he said.
Villar and Pascual inspected whether food items, such as pasta packages, spaghetti and tomato sauce, sandwich spreads, and canned goods, are following the DTI’s 2023 price guide for Noche Buena products.
“Patuloy po tayong nakatutok sa mga presyo ng bilihin ngayong kapaskuhan. Atin pong sisiguraduhin na sumusunod ang ating mga sellers sa price guide ng DTI (We continue to monitor the prices this Christmas season. Let’s make sure that our sellers are following the DTI price guide)," he said.
Villar called for the public’s help in reporting merchants or vendors who are non-compliant with DTI’s SRP and quality standards to DTI Hotline 1384 or any of the department’s social media accounts.
“We are doing this price monitoring activity with the help of the DTI to give protection to our consumers,” he said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), meanwhile, ordered local chief executives to monitor the prices of basic goods and commodities through their Local Price Coordinating Councils (LPCCs) for the Christmas season.
In a statement Wednesday, DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said this is to protect consumers against overpricing and profiteering by unscrupulous traders.
“Ngayon pa lang ay mag-iikot na kayo sa mga palengke, supermarket at iba pang pamilihan upang tiyakin na stable ang suplay at nakaayon sa suggested retail price ang binebenta nilang mga produktong pang-Noche Buena. Bantayan natin ang labis at hindi makatwirang pagtaas ng presyo (As early as now, you must go around markets, supermarkets, and other stores to make sure that the supply is stable and that the Noche Buena products they sell are compliant with the suggested retail price. Let us us keep a close watch on excessive and unreasonable price increases),” Abalos said.
He also called on traders and entrepreneurs to comply with the SRP set by the DTI. (With a report from Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)