DTI Iloilo staff conducts school supplies price monitoring in Iloilo City

WESTERN VISAYAS – As the upcoming school opening on August 29 draws near, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 6 emphasizes the importance for consumers, especially parents, to check the Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) of school supplies before making their purchases.

Last month, DTI has issued a price guide “Gabay sa Pamimili ng School Supplies 2023” to assist consumers in their purchase of school items.

The price guide includes different brands of notebooks, pad papers, writing materials such as pencils and ballpens, crayons, erasers, sharpeners and rulers.

“While prices of some school supplies have remained steady, other school supplies increased due to  the impact of the global increase in the cost of basic raw materials.”, said DTI Region 6 OIC-RD Ermelinda Pollentes.

School supplies’ prices vary, with notebooks ranging from P23 to P52, pad paper for Grades one to four between P21 and P28, intermediate pad paper from P31 to P48.75, writing materials like pencils and ballpens priced from P11 to P17 and from P9.25 to P19.00 respectively, crayon boxes with eight colors ranging from P12 to P34, a 12-color pack at P32, a 16-color pack from P24 to P69, small to large erasers from P4.50 to P20, and sharpeners and rulers from P18 to P69 and P22 to P27.75 respectively, according to the price guide.

“We carried out price monitoring for school supplies prior to the opening of the 2023-2024 school year to ensure that establishments are adhering to the price guide issued last July 25”, said OIC-RD Pollentes.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview, OIC-ARD Rachel Nufable assures consumers of stable and sufficient supplies in Region 6, with no reports of establishments surpassing SRPs for school supplies within Western Visayas and that they are generally compliant with the Price Act.

Under Republic Act No. 7581, as amended by R.A. 10623, known as the Price Act, the DTI and other implementing agencies are tasked with consistently ensuring the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) at reasonable prices, while also maintaining a just return on investment for legitimate businesses.

DTI Region 6 carries out inspections to ensure school supplies align with the Philippine National Standards (PNS), with emphasis on product specifications for office and school items to uphold safety and quality standards for specific products, ensuring reliability and safe usage, as well as compliance with Fair Trade Laws (FTLs).

The DTI provincial offices conduct regular monthly price monitoring activities, while major trading areas like Iloilo City undergo weekly monitoring, with the price monitoring starting two months prior to the start of classes.

OIC-RD Pollentes and OIC-ARD Nufable urge consumers to diligently check the product specifications, markings, and labels to ensure that materials used are safe for children.

They emphasized that DTI Region 6 is closely coordinating with the manufacturers of school supplies in the region to guarantee that prices are reasonable and supply is sufficient in the market.

Under the provisions of the Consumer Act of the Philippines (RA 7394), manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers bear responsibility for any harm inflicted on consumers due to faulty and unsafe products, as well as for providing inadequate or insufficient information regarding product use and potential risks.

DTI Region 6 encourages consumers to alert the nearest DTI Provincial Office or the DTI Regional Office about retailers, distributors, and manufacturers selling basic necessities above their suggested retail prices (SRPs).

Date of Release: 23 August 2023