DTI thinks farms produce should have SRPs
The departments of trade and agriculture are seriously looking into the feasibility of putting suggested retail prices (SRPs) on major agricultural products.
In a press briefing following an emergency meeting of the National Price Coordinating Council Wednesday, Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan said the move to put SRPs on agricultural products is a joint initiative of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez and Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
The heads of both departments aim to protect consumers from profiteers and from attributing their price increases to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
The plan to widen the SRP coverage to include agricultural goods will be discussed during a consultation with stakeholders on Thursday, Cayanan said.
Should the plan be adopted, SRPs will reportedly be put on certain agricultural products for a duration of about three months.
In the meantime, Lopez said his department is intensifying its monitoring activities in the market to cover 600 stores, up from the previous 400 establishments in its market monitoring. “With respect to the commitment following the direction of our President last Saturday, we said that our monitoring, we will intensify it. From 400 stores, outlets coverage in Metro Manila, we will increase it to 600,” he said.
The trade chief noted that based on their market monitoring, those establishments that the monitoring teams visited were 100-percent price compliant. He, however, clarified that DTI only covers basic goods in its market monitoring, while agricultural goods are covered by the DA.
Lopez added that the department may also seek to implement the SRP system among retailers outside supermarkets and groceries. For now, the DTI advises consumers to buy basic goods in supermarkets and groceries, so they will be assured that these products are within SRPs. (PNA)