DTI considers not releasing SRP bulletin

DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual Reviews Implementation of SRP Bulletin

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is reevaluating its current implementation of the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) bulletin in an effort to regulate the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs). DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual announced on Jan. 24 that the agency is considering alternatives to efficiently monitor prices for the benefit of both producers and consumers.

Pascual referenced two studies, one from the World Bank in 2019 and the other from the Department of Justice in 2015, which questioned the need for the regular issuance of the SRP. The World Bank study suggested that the SRP mechanism may be seen as “restrictive regulations” in the setting of goods in the market, potentially discouraging investors, while the DOJ study stated that the SRP may not be needed regularly, but as a mechanism enforced during times of emergencies or calamities when the government steps in to set price ceilings.

“We are studying these findings of the World Bank and DOJ to see how we might approach the SRP,” said Pascual, noting that in the Price Act, the law doesn’t require ongoing issuance of SRP.

Pascual emphasized that while the review is ongoing, the DTI will continue to inform consumers and monitor prices, potentially through the development of the ePresyo program with the Department of Information, Communication and Technology (DICT). EPresyo aims to digitalize price monitoring to allow consumers to compare products across different markets and retailers.

Although the review is ongoing, DTI is still expected to release its final SRP bulletin in March, with price adjustments for 18 stock-taking units (SKUs) in coffee, salt, canned sardines, powdered milk, and toilet soap already announced.

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