TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol — Prices of basic commodities have already started to go down, based on the monitoring of the Department of Trade and Industry, in line with the hefty price reduction of fuel.
However, DTI-7 Regional Director Aster Caberte said that the prices of construction materials remain high.
The fuel price reduction only tagged along the prices of majority of the prime and basic commodities such as canned goods and milk products starting the first week of February.
That was after the total reduction of prices of petroleum products, especially gasoline, by around P20 per liter since the last quarter of 2014 up to the first five weeks this year.
Most food industries attributed the increase in the prices of commodities to the high prices of gasoline, following the successive oil price increases in at least the last four years.
The prices of petroleum products only accumulated hefty slump after the oversupply of oil in the latter part of 2014. But manufacturers and distributors of basic commodities maintained the high prices despite the significant reduction of the fuel prices.
Caberte said the DTI continues to monitor the prices of prime and basic commodities, considering that some establishments or companies need time to implement price reduction.
On the other hand, prices of construction materials like cement and other products that are affected by the prices of petroleum products remained high.
Caberte said the concern on the high prices of construction materials had already been raised to the DTI-national office wherein it had been emphasized that Bohol should be prioritized in measures intended to reduce the prices of cement with the ongoing rehabilitation projects after the calamities that hit the province.
DTI-7 Regional Director Caberte also advised the public to also watch on the quality of the products, aside from their prices, to make sure the companies comply with the standards.
On the prices of fish, the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources still need to resolve the marketing system and the profile of the fish industry in Bohol to be able to address the concern on exorbitant prices of fish and the lack of first-class fish products in the province.
Prices of commercial rice also remained high despite the hefty price reduction of petroleum products.