FILIPINOS will have to tighten their belts a bit more as the holiday season approaches as more than half of noche buena products increased their suggested retail prices (SRP) this year, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
DTI undersecretary Ruth Castelo – who also heads the department’s consumer protection group — said in a statement that over 65 percent of products increased their SRP this year, giving no relief to Filipinos who have spent the past months cutting their budget amid rising inflation.
However, she noted that 25 percent of products maintained the same price while only two percent lowered their SRP.
Castelo assured consumers that the new SRP would remain unchanged until the end of the holiday season.
Meantime, a consumer group led by a former trade official expressed its fears that it will “set the stage” for even higher actual prices because, in essence, SRP on noche buena products act more as a guide instead of the rule, according to Victorio Dimagiba, president of Laban Konsyumer, Inc. (LKI).
Dimagiba said that these products are not considered basic necessities and prime commodities, unlike other manufactured goods covered by the SRP.