MANILA - The government said Wednesday it will monitor the prices of groceries to ensure that manufacturers and establishments are not taking advantage of the implementation of tax reforms to jack up prices.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said the impact of higher excise taxes on fuel on groceries would be "minimal" and that most manufacturers would opt to absorb these costs instead of raising prices.
"The impact on production cost is less than 1 percent," Lopez told ANC's Top Story.
He added that prices of most goods should not increase immediately as most items in groceries and supermarkets are inventory purchased before the tax reform law took effect.
But he also urged consumers to report stores which they think may be engaging in profiteering amid the implementation of tax reforms.
"We will file a case against department stores and supermarkets that will be violating the price law," Lopez said.
Lopez said consumers can call the DTI hotline at 751-3330 or visit its website to report erring establishments.
The Department of Energy also said higher fuel excise taxes should not lead to higher pump prices in the first 15 days of the year as oil firms use up old inventory.