SRP violators to face P5,000 to P1M penalty

Johanna O. Bajenting

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 has urged supermarkets to follow its Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of meat, chicken and noche buena items this Yuletide season or else they will be penalized.

During the agency’s special price monitoring in two supermarkets in Cebu City on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, DTI 7 Director Asteria Caberte reiterated that prices of items under the DTI’s basic commodities monitoring should be below or within the SRP level.

The agency identified Colonnade Supermarket and Super Metro Colon as compliant to the SRP of meat, chicken, ham and other noche buena items.

“The result of our monitoring was that the price points of both establishments are much, much lower than the SRP that we issued. We also checked on the supply situation of pork, meat, chicken and other noche buena items which are enough and were more than what was required,” the DTI 7 chief said.

Caberte urged other supermarkets to follow suit and avoid increasing their prices above the SRP or else they will face a penalty that will range from P5,000 to P1 million.

“We like to clean up the shelves of non-compliant products from the SRP,” she said.

She said that with Christmas season, stiff competition among supermarket players arises, but it spells good news to consumers as they will have more choices at a better price.

“There are crazy sales evident everywhere. Their promotions are very strong so meaning, they’d like to get a bigger chunk of the market. There are some supermarkets that sell these items lower than the SRP, so the consumers now have a choice,” she said.

“It has always been very clear that there is stiff competition among our local retailers, wholesalers and our supermarkets all over the region. They are vying to get the niche of the market and share of the bonuses. There is no overpricing because of the competition, so the consumers are happy,” she added.

Caberte vowed they will continue to conduct SRP monitoring.

Donna Mendez, assistant store manager of Colonnade Supermarket, said their prices will be maintained until the Christmas season.

“Our goal is to maintain the prices and that they will remain affordable,” she said.

Mendez said they have beefed up their stocks of meat and other items that are bestsellers this Christmas by about 20 to 30 percent.

The DTI 7 said Colonnade Supermarket is fully compliant with the SRP with most of the checked noche buena items are priced lower by three percent than the SRP.

Meanwhile, Egan Pacquiao, manager at Super Metro Colon supermarket, encouraged consumers to continue buying meat as Cebu remains free of African swine fever.

“We encourage them to still consistently buy from us because our meat is safe to eat,” he said. He also debunked beliefs that items that are on sale are nearing their expiry dates.