DTI chief urges manufacturers to lower prices

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2014 07:43 PM | Updated as of Dec 04 2014 03:43 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the department will come up with a computation of how much prices of products and services should be reduced to reflect the massive drop in oil prices.

Domingo had earlier issued a statement that prices of goods and services that use fuel in its operations need to reflect the downward trend in international fuel prices.

According to Domingo, at the very least, manufacturers should bring down prices by 3 percent to reflect the more than 30-percent drop in the price of fuel products.

Domingo said the price reduction in service-related industries like trucking, public utility vehicles, airlines and other transport related businesses should also be higher, possibly even reaching as high as 10 percent since a big component of their business deals with fuel.

"Dapat iparamdam din nila sa consumer ang ginhawa, i-share nila lalo na ngayong Christmas," he said.

But when asked if the DTI can compel manufacturers to slash prices, Domingo admitted the government can only urge them.

This is why Domingo said he ordered a study on the actual impact of the fuel reduction on specific industries so that the appeal for reduced prices will have a factual basis.

But the DTI chief said manufacturers in the past have on their own brought down prices based on changes in costs.

"According to the Department of Trade and Industry's Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau, the price of a 155-gram can of sardines should go down by 22 centavos; a 370-milliliter can of evaporated milk can be lowered by 95 centavos; a 50-gram coffee refill by 99 centavos, and a 25-kilogram sack of flour by P25.91," Domingo said.