Days before the opening of the new academic year, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), led a monitoring activity on the prices, supply, and safety of school supplies in Recto Avenue, Manila last 30 May 2018.

Three (3) business establishments were monitored to be compliant with the Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) of school supplies. DTI Secretary Lopez noted that although the prices in stalls and outlets of school supplies in Divisoria are P2.00-P4.00 lower than those sold in bookstores in Recto, goods are still sold in both below or within the SRP.

Meanwhile, the FDA measured the mercury and lead components in the school supplies during the monitoring activity. With readings of high level toxic content in some boxes of crayons and watercolor being sold in some business establishments, DTI Secretary Lopez and the FDA recommended for these to be pulled out for further testing to ensure the safety of consumers.

“Generally, results of our monitoring reflect that manufacturers and retailers comply with the SRPs and conform to quality and safety standards. This means that quality school supplies are available to consumers at affordable prices, even those that are sold in small outlets,” said DTI Secretary Lopez.

In addition to school supplies, the DTI also monitored the prices and supply of basic necessities and prime commodities in supermarkets located in Recto Avenue, Manila. Monitored prices of said goods were found to be within the SRP level.

“Upholding our commitment to ensure consumers’ access to reasonably-priced basic and prime goods, the DTI intensifies its price monitoring efforts by increasing the number of firms that the Department will monitor to 1,210 business establishments nationwide. 610 firms are now being monitored in NCR and 600 more across the rest of the regions,” said Trade Chief Lopez.

Monitoring together with the Trade Chief and the FDA were Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo, Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau Director Domingo Dominic Tolentino Jr., Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB) Director Ronnel O. Abrenica, and CPAB Assistant Director Lilian G. Salonga. ♦