Prices of 59 out of 264 SKUs (stock keeping units), including a milk brand, some canned sardines, canned meat, and salt, have increased reportedly beyond the allowed suggested retail price (SRP) adjustment.
But Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ruth Castelo explained that the 59 products were unable to increase their prices to adapt to fuel and raw materials price hike last year until they were taken over by the three-month price freeze from September 1 to December 1 as requested by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“There was no movement in prices of these products during the three-month period despite the peak of fuel prices in October, 2018. These items were also not included in the December 5 suggested retail prices,” Castelo said.
SKU is a number assigned to a product by a retail store to identify the price, product options, and manufacturer of the merchandise. SKUs are valuable for tracking inventory.
Castelo made this clarification in response to a statement by consumer group Laban ng Konsyumer, Inc. (LKI) urging the agency to check on alleged “breaches” in SRP increases on some basic necessity and prime commodity products beyond the 4 percent inflation target.
Victorio Mario Dimagiba, LKI president, noted these increases in the DTI published SRP of Basic Necessity and Prime Commodity effective February 13, 2019. The most recent SRP was issued on December 5, 2018.
Dimagiba said there were no changes in the SRPs of coffee refill, coffee 3-1, bread, instant noodle, bottled water, candles, toilet soap, and batteries.
LKI further noted that all types of milk products – condensed milk, condensada, evaporated milk, evaporada, and powdered milk – registered SRP increases in the range of P0.50, P0.75, P1.00, P1.10, and P1.20. This is an increase within the 2-4 percent inflation target for 2019.
But Dimagiba urged DTI to recheck the SRP of Birch Tree powdered milk, from P57.10 to P63.40 or an increase of P6.30 or 11 percent.
In addition, LKI said seven brands of canned sardines had SRP increases in the range of P0.40, P0.50, P0.75, P1.10 and P1.75 per can.
This is an increase in the range of 2.3 percent, 3.1 percent, 5.08 percent, and 6.8 percent.
All items under iodized salt increased SRPs in the range of P0.50, P0.75, P1.00, P1.25, and P2.20. The increases are above the 4 percent inflation target – 6.4 percent, 7.6 percent, 8.3 percent, 12.8 percent, 19 percent, and 20 percent.
One item of Tide Bar original scent increased by P0.75 or 3.7 percent.