By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it will start processing next year the applications to raise prices of 63 stock-keeping units of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs).
“We are processing 63 requests. These are 63 items from 18 manufacturers. These are for various products like bread, sardines, and coffee so it is hard to specify one,” Assistant Secretary for Consumer Protection Group Amanda F. Nograles told BusinessWorld by phone.
“We will start to release the approvals in January next year. The price increases will be effective immediately,” she said.
Ms. Nograles said manufacturers are citing increased production costs, materials shortages, labor, and distribution costs as the trigger for their price hike applications.
“That is why we try to understand how we can help in lowering production costs. One of our initiatives is implementing Executive Order 41 or the suspension of the collection of pass-through fees by local government units,” she said.
“Another initiative is lowering the cost of raw materials. For example, in trying to lower the price of sugar, we are closely coordinating with the Sugar Regulatory Administration and Department of Agriculture,” she added.
“I think another thing that can be a huge help for our consumers is our plan to approve price increases on a staggered basis,” she said.
Ms. Nograles said that the DTI will be implementing a ‘first in, first out’ system for approving requests for price increases.
“Many have filed for price increase as early as the first quarter of 2023, so we will first process and approve the requests of whoever submitted first,” she added.
The DTI had been due to meet manufacturers and retailers on Monday to discuss updates on the prices of Christmas-feast items and price adjustments for BNPCs.
However, Ms. Nograles said that the meeting was rescheduled for January due to the unavailability of participants.
The DTI last approved price increases when it published a suggested retail price bulletin on Feb. 17, she said.
“We will publish a bulletin again next year. We do not have an exact date to give right now, but it will definitely be in the first quarter,” she said.