Building on last year’s success, Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual continues the Ikot Palengke Program this year, beginning with a tight price watch in Guadalupe Public Market and selected supermarkets in Makati City on 13 January 2023.
With the theme, “Tamang Timbang, Tamang Presyo Para sa Mamimiling Pilipino”, Secretary Pascual led the monitoring task force of the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) in inspecting the following: (1) Prices and supply of processed and agricultural basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs); (2) Accuracy of weights and measures; and (3) Appropriate price tags.
Senator Mark A. Villar, being the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Industry, joined DTI in this market monitoring activity to inspect the actual operations of vendors in wet markets and understand the reason behind rising prices of some agricultural products.
Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo and FTEB Director Atty. Marimel D. Porciuncula also accompanied Secretary Pascual in inspecting prices, price tags, and weights and measures in Guadalupe.
After surveying prices and supply, Secretary Pascual affirmed that the vendors in Guadalupe Public Market observe accurate weights and measures, as well as appropriate price tags. Meanwhile, the inspected supermarkets within the vicinity conform to the Suggested Retail Prices (SRP) Bulletin issued by the DTI on 12 August 2022.
“Sa pagpapatuloy nitong ating “Ikot Palengke”, tuloy-tuloy rin ang pagbabantay natin sa presyo at suplay para siguruhing sapat, mura, at de-kalidad ang pangunahing bilihin para sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino. Layunin nating protektahan ang mga konsyumers at himukin ang ating mga kababayan na suportahan ang mga lokal na produkto”, Secretary Pascual said.
“Our unceasing on-the-ground price and supply monitoring is also a strong warning that the Department will pursue strict measures against unscrupulous business practices like hoarding, profiteering, and cartels”, he added.
One with the DTI, Senator Villar said, “We commend and support DTI’s initiatives such as today’s Ikot Palengke because we strongly believe that ensuring fair transactions not only promotes consumer confidence but also boosts local industries.”
Strategic market monitoring seeks to address the issues of profiteering, hoarding, and other artificial shortages that affect prices. It also aims to ensure the availability of other alternative products to BNPCs in the event of a supply shortage.
Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, as amended, mandates implementing agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure stable prices and supply of BNPCs.
The DTI, as one of the implementing agencies of the Price Act, as amended, and with the DTI Secretary as the Chairperson of the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC), is mandated to coordinate and rationalize government programs aimed at stabilizing prices and supplies of BNPCs.
The DTI-FTEB conducts weekly monitoring of the price and supply of basic necessities such as, but not limited to, canned sardines, processed milk, powdered milk, coffee, bread, instant noodles, salt, detergent soap, bottled water, and candles; and prime commodities such as, but not limited to, canned meat, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, batteries, flour, cement, hollow blocks, construction nails, light bulbs, electrical supplies, and steel wires.
The DTI urges consumers to report retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell basic necessities above their SRPs or uncertified items, through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or [email protected].