MANILA — A new list of price guide for school supplies has been released by the Department of Trade and Industry on Friday in time for the opening of classes this month.
Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said he introduced a revised "Suggested Retail Price" or SRP list for school supplies because the old list was not detailed.
The list has brands and specifications, the DTI said.
"Rather than calling pad or notebook, we specified certain types, spiral or whatever," Pascual said.
For notebooks, the new guide includes size, number of leaves, paper quality, brand name, and even if they have a generic or character design.
These information would help parents and students compare prices in stores, the agency said.
"Canvass, check other suppliers. For the same level of quality, a product can be more expensive in an expensive place, but if you go to Divisoria, same product will be available at a lower price," Pascual said.
But for the Philippine Stationers Association, there is no need to issue an SRP on school supplies, said its President Charles Sy. He added that prices of school items are generally low.
"I think that would be counter productive, because number one like I said, mababa, we are not a high margin industry. It is not as if we are taking advantage of the consumers," said Sy.
It would also be difficult to set a price point as some items have ordinary brands and premium ones.
Sy, who owns the 96-year-old Cosmos Bazar in Binondo, is still optimistic the school supplies industry will grow this year, following the pandemic which hit the sector. He also said most items have not increased prices.