MANILA, Philippines – Republic Act 7581 also known as the Consumer Price Act of 1992 aims at protecting the consumers and their rights.
One of the provisions of the law is the implementation of a Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for each of the basic commodities in the local market.
SRP is the recommended price at which the retailers sell their products and according to former Trade undersecretary now Laban Konsyumer president, Atty. Vic Dimagiba, prices of goods may be lower but not above the SRP.
“Iyon ay nagsasaad na ang presyo ng isang produkto ay makatuwiran at nararapat lamang at hindi malulugi ang negosyante at hindi naman mabigat sa consumer (It sets the price of a product into a reasonable amount acceptable to both the manufacturer or the business owner and the consumer),” Dimagiba explained.
The former Trade official said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) should be consistent and strict in enforcing the SRP to make sure that the prices of basic commodities go with the standard.
Anyone who will violate the law on SRP can be considered profiteering and violators may face penalties of P5,000 to P1-M.
Such a crime is akin to not placing proper price tags on goods.
Dimagiba noted the importance of price tags, as it is a way for consumers to check if the prices of goods are according to SRP.
“Kapag nakita mong above SRP bigyan mo ng show cause order ang retailer (When the price is above SRP, the retailer should be sent a show cause order),” he said.
“Pagpaliwanagin mo siya kung bakit lumampas siya doon. Kasi sukat na yung kita mo doon na hindi ka na malulugi (The retailer should explain why they went above the SRP because the profit should already be incorporated in the SRP), ” he added.
This year, several products have shown frequent mark ups, according to the group.
“Number one produkto na tumaas ang SRP kulang-kulang siguro P4.00 ang isa ay ang de latang sardinas, ang gatas, at ang kape. Itong taon na ito three to four times sila, (The primary products that showed price increase of up to P4.00 include canned sardines, milk and coffee. Just this year, there had been an increase of three to four times on these items), Dimagiba explained.
The group calls for an SRP on meat and chicken, adding that the price of rice should also drop from P38 to P40 per kilogram to a reasonable price of P32 per kilogram. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
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