MANILA - The Department of Trade and Industry is looking into "minimizing" charges for manufacturers of basic necessities and prime commodities, an official said Wednesday.
The proposal has been discussed initially with incoming trade Secretary Pascual, according to DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo.
"Manufacturers, of course, pay a lot of charges when they send the products to retailers… These costs, maybe, we can look into minimizing or exempting, at least for basic necessities and prime commodities," she told ANC's Headstart.
"If we're able to reduce that, manufacturers will have more leeway in working on the prices and will be able to keep the price of the product on the retail market individually, at least they can keep it lower," added the official.
The agency "takes a while" to complete its study on the request of manufacturers for an increase in prices, Castelo said.
"We wait for data week-on-week and month-on-month so we will have an accurate view of what’s really happening on the prices of raw material," she said.
"We recently increased prices on May 11. We don't want another publication right now increasing prices."
The DTI will likely split into 2 tranches the P4 price increase request of the Philippine Baking Industry group if it is approved, Castelo said.
"We’re still reviewing it. We're still looking into month-on-month and week-on-week prices," she said.
"We do not want businesses to fold down, lose profit over this, but we also have to make sure consumers can afford this."
Meantime, the extension of lower tariffs on pork is "only a temporary solution just so we can bring down prices" in the retail market, according to Castelo.
"We see that prices of local pork is much higher with imported pork, so with lower tariff, we can bring it down temporarily until price has stabilized," she said.