DAGUPAN CITY—Prices of at least 16 basic goods including milk and noodles have gone up in Pangasinan, said Provincial Director Peter Mangabat of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during the KBP forum today.
He said that based on a monitoring conducted last April 4, sixteen basic items, including milk, coffee, bread, canned goods, noodles and soaps were seen to have increased in prices.
Mangabat attributed the increase in prices mainly to soaring oil prices due to the civil unrest in the Middle East, particularly Libya, where large portion of oil imports come from. “Halos lingo-linggo tumataas ang presyo ng langis,” he said.
Another cause is the depleted supply of wheat, from which flour is obtained. Wheat is imported from Russia and Australia, which were hit by drought and floods, respectively. The price of flour, the main ingredient of bread, rose from P860 to P920 per sack.
Mangabat clarified that price control is not being imposed. Instead, suggested retail prices (SRP) set by the DTI and the manufacturers serve as price reference to be adopted in the entire country. Unreasonable increase from the SRP may prompt an investigation from the DTI which may impose penalties according to the Philippine Price Act of 1992.
The high cost of commodities ranks highest among the problems of the country today, followed by unemployment and corruption, he added.
Mangabat, however, assured that the DTI will monitor store owners and retailers who will try to take advantage of the festivities in Pangasinan like the Bangus Festival here. (PIA/Pangasinan)