Prices of school supplies up in Divisoria — GMA News’ ‘24 Oras’

With less than a month to go before schools reopen for the school year 2011-2012, GMA News’ “24 Oras" reported that prices of school supplies in Divisoria have already gone up.

Prices of pad paper for Grades 1 to 4 now costs P10-12.50 while intermediate pad paper now costs P22.50. Prices of notebooks with plastic covers have also gone up by P1-P1.25 each.

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Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Zeny Maglaya attributed the price increase to the plastic components which are petroleum based.

As June draws nearer, the DTI is working closely with school supply retailers to monitor not only the price but the product quality. Crayons, for example, has to be non-toxic and the lead content of pencils constantly being checked.

School uniforms, which are not under the DTI’s price monitor, are still affordable for consumers, the retailers claimed.

Maglaya assured the public that prices can still go down as the demand for school supplies increases. “[Sellers] don’t want to stock up on [school supplies] because it’s a seasonal commodity," the undersecretary said. — With Bea Cupin/VS, GMA News