MANILA — As the start of school year 2014-2015 nears, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) assures consumers that prices of school supplies remain stable.
Department of Trade and Industry – Consumer Protection Group (DTI-CPG) Undersecretary Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said “The Department has maintained an open communication with the manufacturers and importers of office and supplies and this year, the cooperation and support to maintain the prices of school and office supplies reasonable and stable is strong. In fact, based on their reports, prices are the same as of two years ago”.
Annually, the DTI-CPG through its Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB) and the industry members of school and office supplies discuss their supply and price of their goods.
As early as March, the DTI requests for their suggested retail prices that will be the reference price guide for distributors and retailers in the market.
“The CPAB validates the submitted against the costs of production particularly raw materials,” Dimagiba said.
The DTI has routed the price guide with the suggested retail price through its regional and provincial offices.
Dimagiba emphasized that this will be the reference for retailers to sell their products and for consumers to be guided in their purchases. He also emphasized that they request the retailers to post the price guide in places where consumers can easily refer to.
The DTI Regional and Provincial Offices conduct market monitoring activities on school supplies not only to check on the prices but also to ensure compliance of manufacturers and importers with specific quality standards and labeling requirements.
They also conduct Diskwento Caravans to bring their supplies closer and at discounted prices to consumers.
“But we remind manufacturers, importers, distributors or retailers that if they are found not complying with the requirements of the PNS, they shall face administrative charges under RA 7394, which include a maximum fine of P300,000 per violation”, Dimagiba noted.
Consumers can report or file complaints against unsafe school supplies to the nearest DTI office in their area or call the department at 751-3330 or 0917-8343330.