The Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office III (DTI-3) stated that based on its monitoring, the prices of basic goods and prime commodities in the region are still stable and are within the range of the Suggested Retail Prices (SRP). DTI has issued an SRP table effective January 1, 2018.

As DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez instructed in the wake of the implementation of Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, DTI-3 immediately mobilized its Price Monitoring Teams all over Central Luzon to monitor the movement of prices of basic goods and prime commodities, including construction materials.

Based on the results of its price monitoring in all the seven provinces of Central Luzon, prices of basic goods and prime commodities have remained stable. The price of canned sardines in 155 gram cans, for example, remain within the range of Php 14.25 to Php 15.75. Instant noodles still remained between Php 6.30 to 7.30, powdered filled milik (150 g) between Php 43.50 to 50.00, vinegar in 355 ml bottle between 13.75 to 14.15, soy sauce remained stable at Php 14.00 to 16.00 per bottle. The price of detergent soap (390 g) was registered to range from 19.35 to 20.00 and coffee refill (25 g) between Php 16.75 to 17.75.

For wheat based prime commodities, Pinoy Pandesal remained at Php 21.50 while Loaf Bread (450 g) was monitored at Php 35.00. For luncheon meat in 165 gram preparations, prices were monitored to be from Php 30.55 – 30 .95. In Aurora, the monitored increases are on the prices of bottled soft drinks, where an increase of Php 2 per bottle for the small size bottle was registered, while for brands of sweetened juice a slight increase of Php 1.12 per bottle was monitored.

For construction materials, cement in 40 kg bag was monitored to range from Php 199.00 to 258.00 depending on the brand, deformed steel bars from Php 128 to 133 per kilo, and nails at Php 70.00 per kilo.

In a statement, DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that “For most usual consumer products, we don’t expect any adjustments in SRP—but we are closely monitoring the market. We foresee that any changes in the price of basic raw materials—if and when they will happen—will have a bigger impact on product pricing. For example, increases in prices for pork meat would affect canned meats, while the price increase for wheat would affect flour, and flour for bread.”

He also added that “Moving forward, DTI is watching out for hoarders and profiteers in the market, and closely monitoring any price change to ensure that prices are still below SRPs. For those that we find in violation of raising the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, the penalties they may incur range from Php 20,000 to Php1M.”♦