THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants manufacturers of sanitary tin plates to extend their price moratorium until after December to ward off any further increase in the price of canned goods.
Sanitary tin plates are used in making cans for processed goods such as sardines, corned beefs and hams.
Henry Tanedo, president of the Tin Can Manufacturers Association of the Philippines Inc. (TCMAPI), told The Manila Times Monday that the DTI is requesting for a stay in prices until after the Christmas holidays.
The government’s request is an extension of TCMAPI’s earlier commitment to the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) not to raise prices until November. The DTI made the request from the industry group as its contribution to continuing efforts aimed at stabilizing prices of consumer goods.
Tanedo said Adrian Cristobal, trade undersecretary for consumer welfare, sought permission to attend the group’s general assembly on Thursday to convince sanitary tin-can makers to put off any price increase until after December.
“He [Cristobal] is telling us that since we already held off our prices until November, we might as well extend it until December,” Tanedo said.
Cristobal reportedly wants tin-can makers to put off any price increase in exchange for an earlier government decision to maintain tariffs on imported tin cans.
Sources said a yet-to-be-published executive order has been signed by Malacañang last week to increase import duties on various steel products, excluding tin cans. The most favored nation (MFN) tariff, which is the import duty slapped on goods sourced from outside the Southeast Asian region, remains at zero percent, Tanedo said.
He said the group, however, could no longer assure the DTI of a freeze in prices of sanitary tin cans until after December. While the MFN tariff remains at zero percent, prices in the world market have been highly unstable, he said.
–Niel V. Mugas