Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo checked the prices and supply of Noche Buena items in selected supermarkets in Sta. Cruz, Manila on 2 December 2022. This initiative aims to ensure that reasonably-priced and quality products are available for Filipinos in the upcoming holiday season.
Through the team’s price monitoring, Undersecretary Castelo affirmed that the monitored supermarkets comply with the Noche Buena Price Guide. Likewise, all Shelf Keeping Units (SKUs) including Noche Buena items have appropriate price tags.
Upon surveying the prices and supply of Christmas staples, Undersecretary Castelo encouraged consumers to buy in bundles, as this buying scheme provides more affordable alternatives. Further, through product bundling, the buying experience of consumers is simplified.
Aside from the Noche Buena products, the “Ikot Palengke” program manned by the price monitoring task force of Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) also inspected the following (1) Prices and supply of processed and agricultural basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs); (2) Accuracy of weights and measures; and (3) Appropriate price tags.
Trade Secretary Fred Pascual steered the pilot run of “Ikot Palengke” in Marikina City to monitor the supply and prices of basic necessities and prime commodities and to prevent abusive business practices like illegal price manipulation and profiteering.
“As we get busy in preparation for the upcoming holidays, we remind our Filipino consumers to exercise their right to choose. Sa darating na Kapaskuhan at sa pagsalubong sa Bagong Taon, patuloy ang pagbabantay natin sa presyo at suplay ng mga pangunahin bilihin para masiguro ang mura at masaganang salu-salo para sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino”, the Trade Chief assured the consuming public.
The DTI released the Suggested Retail Prices (SRP) Bulletin on 12 August 2022; while the Noche Buena Price Guide was released on 23 November 2022.
With the recent Noche Buena Price Guide, Secretary Pascual ensured that he will utilize all possible means to ensure that the prices of BNPCs in the SRP bulletin will not move until after the holiday season.
“We want to make sure that consumers will have access to reasonably-priced goods. Soon, we will conduct a meeting with manufacturers and various companies to possibly come up with solutions that are not only beneficial for them, considering the rising cost of production but most especially for consumers,” Pascual said.
Price bulletins and guides aim to boost consumer education by guiding the consuming public in making informed purchases.
The DTI-FTEB conducts weekly monitoring of the price and supply of basic necessities such as, but not limited to, canned sardines, processed milk, powdered milk, coffee, bread, instant noodles, salt, detergent soap, bottled water, and candles; and prime commodities such as, but not limited to, canned meat, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, batteries, flour, cement, hollow blocks, construction nails, light bulbs, electrical supplies, and steel wires. Likewise, through the Ikot Palengke Program of DTI, the team will also conduct monitoring of Christmas staples until New Year.
The DTI urges consumers to report retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell basic necessities above their SRPs, through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or email@example.com.