Philippines: DTI to monitor sugar prices

MANILA, Philippines — Sugar will be included in the list of basic and prime commodities that the government regularly monitors, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Sugar will be included in our regular monitoring in the coming days as directed by the President,” Trade Undersecretary Carol Sanchez said in a Viber message to reporters.

The Office of the Press Secretary said earlier that the DTI would monitor the P70 per kilo price of sugar agreed by three large supermarkets.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said on Friday that the owners of SM Supermarket, Robinsons Supermarket and Puregold have agreed to the suggested retail price of P70 per kilo from a high of P90 to P110 per kilo.

She said Robinsons Supermarket agreed to sell one million kilos at P70 a kilo while SM Supermarket committed to sell its inventory also at P70.

Puregold, on the other hand, agreed to offer one million kilos of sugar, also at P70 per kilo.

Angeles said Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez appealed to business owners to lower the price of sugar “even temporarily” to help ordinary consumers until the supply stabilizes.

“ES Rodriguez appealed (to supermarket owners) to lower the price even just temporarily to help the ordinary consumers until we resolve or we reach September or the harvest season,” she said.

Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said the DTI has a system for monitoring the prices of the 20 basic necessities and prime commodities for which it approves suggested retail prices (SRPs), in accordance with the Price Act.

“DTI also ensures that the increases in prices are not due to hoarding or collusion,” Pascual said.

Based on Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, among the basic commodities the DTI conducts price monitoring on are canned fish and other marine products, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergent, candles, bread and salt.

In addition, the prime commodities it conducts monitoring on are flour, processed and canned pork, processed and canned beef, and poultry meat, noodles, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet, soap, paper, and school supplies.

Under the Price Act, sugar is a basic good under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture.