The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 02 (DA-RFO 02) tapped DTI Region 02’s Consumer Protection Division staff to share their knowledge and experiences on the implementation of the Price Act of 1992, otherwise known as R.A. 7581, during the orientation forum conducted for the members of DA-RFO 02’s Regional Bantay Presyo Monitoring Team on February 20 at the Department of Agriculture in San Gabriel, Tuguegarao City. Special focus of the talk given by DTI speakers was on the monitoring of retailers’ adherence to the Suggested Retail Price or SRP and on enforcement and adjudication of cases.
Based on Constitutional policy and the Price Act, the concerned implementing agencies issue SRP as the list price or recommended retail price of a basic necessity or prime commodity at which the government recommends that the retailer sells the product. Section 10(5) of the Price Act provides that the head of the implementing agency may issue from time to time the suggested reasonable retail prices for any or all basic necessities and prime commodities under his or her jurisdiction for the information and guidance of producers, manufacturers, traders, dealers, sellers, retailers, and consumers. The imposition of SRPs is aimed at protecting consumers from overpricing in the market.
Implementing agencies like DTI, DA, DOH, DOE and DENR, regularly issue SRP even during non-emergency and comparable situations. For instance, the DA has published SRPs for fresh chicken and pork; and more recently, in October, for rice. Unlike the automatic price freeze and mandated price ceiling, the SRP is issued even during non-emergency situations. DTI issues SRP bulletins on prime and basic commodities under its jurisdiction periodically. The latest SRP bulletin issued by DTI on its website is dated February 13, 2019.