• DTI monitors prime commodities prices as peso depreciates

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    THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is closely monitoring prices of basic manufactured goods and prime commodities following the depreciation of the Philippine peso.

    Last week, the peso hit P50:$1 on the Philippine Dealing System, which raised concerns among business groups and consumers over its possible effect of boosting the prices of basic and prime goods, especially those made from imported raw materials.

    DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Teodoro Pascua clarified the matter in a statement issued on Wednesday: “Based on our regular price monitoring activities in the past few weeks, there have been no price increases in any of the products that the department monitors.”

    Although a weaker peso could push up the prices of goods with imported components, the DTI does not see it as having an immediate effect on the current prices of goods in the market because the stock currently on sale consisted of imported raw materials purchased prior to the peso’s depreciation.

    On the other hand, the DTI said this could go the other way, referring to a possible increase in consumption resulting from the higher inflow of dollar remittances from overseas Filipinos.

    “In terms of supply, the manufacturers assured the DTI that there is adequate supply of their basic and prime goods until the end of the year, especially during the holiday season,” Pascua said.

    The DTI reminds retailers that the list of suggested retail prices (SRPs) of noche buena products released on November 4 still stands, while consumers are advised to be guided by this when making their purchases.

    The DTI vows to not be complacent as it intensifies its efforts to ensure that the prices of goods in the market remain at reasonable levels.

    The public can use DTI’s “e-Presyo” which consumers, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers can check for the SRPs and prevailing prices of all basic and prime goods being monitored by the DTI including those stores selling at the lowest prices, it said.

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