The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has deferred the impending upward adjustment in the prices of basic goods in a bid to ease the burden of consumers amid the weeks-long hard lockdown in Metro Manila and other major commercial hubs in the country.
“Yes, we have postponed any adjustment on SRPs (suggested retail prices), especially during ECQ (enhanced community quarantine),” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told GMA News Online.
Late in June, the DTI has allowed some brands of basic goods to increase their prices by P0.25 to P0.75 or by about 3.5% due to increasing cost of raw materials.
The agency approved a price hike for basic goods, including sardines, canned meat, noodles, milk and coffee, which was supposed to take effect in August.
The approval of the price increase was made after the DTI lifted the months-long price freeze on basic goods on July 9.
Metro Manila is under ECQ from August 6 to 20.
In an interview on Balitanghali, Lopez assured that retailers and manufacturers are complying with the suspension of the price increase for basic goods.
“Dahil ECQ at maraming nawalan ng trabaho, konsiderasyon talaga iyon sa desisyon na i-defer muna kung ano man ‘yung pinagaaralan diyan na price adjustment,” Lopez said.
(The loss of employment due to ECQ is one of the considerations in the decision to defer whatever is being studied on the price adjustment.)
The Trade Secretary said no violation has been recorded so far.
Apart from the National Capital Region, the provinces of Laguna and Cagayan de Oro as well as Iloilo City are under the strictest quarantine classification.
The province of Bataan is also under ECQ from August 8 to 22.
Under ECQ protocol, only essential trips and essential services, such as food and medicine, are allowed to operate. -with Joahna Lei Casilao/MDM, GMA News