Consumer Group Pushing Suggested Retail Prices (SRP) for Branded Bread and Cement

2019-01-15 20:54:54

Laban Konsyumer Inc. and its President Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba  wrote to Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, Undersecretary of Consumer Protection Group of Department of Trade and Industry  and copied Director Domingo Tolentino of the Consumer Protection Advocacy Bureau , regarding the imposition of Suggested Retail Prices, SRP, for branded bread products and cement.

In a letter dated January 10 and sent by email to USEC Castelo  and Director Tolentino, LKI wrote that it respectfully submits for the DTI action “our proposals to include branded bread products and cement Type 1P in the Expanded Suggested Retail Prices of basic necessities and prime commodities.

Dimagiba said “on branded bread products, we recall that the DTI announced last year that it was adding branded bread products in the Expanded SRP issued in October 2018. Historically, branded bread were included in the SRP until the DTI launched the Pinoy Tasty and Pinoy Pandesal during the term of the Aquino Administration.”

LKI continued by stating “In consultation with the bread industry, as well as to promote to the consumers the PInoy Tasty and pandesal, the branded bread were deleted and in lieu Pinoy Tasty and pandesal were included in the SRP.  It was important to ensure that the prices of PInoy Tasty and Pandesal remain uniform in all supermarkets and groceries nationwide.”

In the letter, it was detailed that “Last month, the DTI announced that Gardenia   will reduce prices by 1 to 2 pesos. For unexplained reasons , and partly we have informed you thru text, that Gardenia’s  600 gram remained  at Php 64.00 and the 400 gram at Php 46.75 apiece. Those prices remain as such today.”

Dimagiba pointed out that “We had monitored that the Gardenia prices for the pandesal in pack of ten pieces was reduced by 1 peso.  Rolling backwards, the same brand increased their prices by 1 and 2 pesos a piece in September to October last year, unilaterally, and it was Laban Konsyumer Inc. that brought the increases to the attention of DTI as well as the media ”.

He emphasized that “Bread is a basic necessity under the Price Act, as amended. For the same reasons that the DTI issued an Expanded SRP on basic necessities and prime commodities, it would be urgent to add branded products in the list as well.  Laban Konsyumer Inc. is not aware if there are pending enforcement steps taken by the DTI on the concerned parties, but the unannounced increases and the noncompliance to a rollback are strong reasons for DTI to act now.”

The letter then tackled the topic of cement type 1P. LKI wrote that cement is a prime commodity under the Price Act, as amended that used to be with  SRP . LKI could not recall when and why cement  SRP was removed .

Using data from the DTI E -Presyo, LKI  informed that retail prices of cement had increased over the last three (3) months. LKI summarized selected data and areas for brevity:


Area/Brand
Prev price in Php/40 kg bagA week ago in Php/40 kg bag
A month ago in Php/40 kg bag
3 months ago in Php/40 kg bag
NCR




Manila




Advance
230230230215
Mayon         
225225225225
Quezon City



Republic---217217210
Rizal215215215---
Advance220220220220
Makati



Rizal240250235235
Advance240240240240
Paranaque



Holcim225225
225
225
Rizal225
225
225
225
Advance220220
220
220
Mandaluyong



Rizal230230
230
230
Cebu



Cebu City



Apo 203198198
198
198
Holcim195195188188
Mindanao165165165165
Republic185185
185
185
Grand Poz


178
Davao City



Apo205205
205
200
Holcim220220
220
220
Republic212212205212
Iloilo



Iloilo City



Apo215215
215
215
Holcim215
215
215
215
Republic200200200---

Dimagiba explained “There are no monitoring reports from Baguio City; Calamba, Laguna; Lipa, Batangas, Cagayan de Oro and San Fernando, Pampanga.

In 4 hardware stores in Fairview, Quezon City, Advance Eagle ranges from 215 to 220 while Republic is selling at 230 -235 pesos per 40kg bag.”

Based on the DTI E Presyo, the brands of cement in the monitoring lists are Ha Long, Grand Premium, Red Lion, Mayon, Northern Cement, Grand Pozzolan, Advance Eagle, Rizal, Republic, Holcim Excel, Apo and Mindanao.

LKI proposed that the brands listed in the DTI E –Presyo be maintained and set separate SRP for Luzon including NCR, Visayas and Mindanao. 

LKI concluded by saying “Industry sources show that pick- up prices from local plants and importers warehouses range from Php 185 – Php 195 pesos per 40 kg bag and add Php 10.00 transport per bag and maximum Php 20.00 per bag margin or profit for the supply chain, an SRP of Php 210 to 215.00 per bag is reasonable at this time.”

Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) is a nonprofit and non-stock registered entity with the Securities and Exchange Commission. LKI is a consumer advocacy group in the Philippines that promotes consumer education and protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable business practices. The LKI focuses on education, prices and supply of basic and prime commodities, standards and qualities among other areas of consumer protection.

LKI is a new member of Consumers International, a membership organization for consumer groups around the world. Consumer International is composed of over 200 member organizations in more than 100 countries to empower and champion the rights of consumers everywhere. Dimagiba also acts as Chairman of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO) of the Philippines.

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