MANILA — There should be no increase in prices of school supplies, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Wednesday, now weeks before the school year 2015 opens.
DTI, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, conducted market and price monitoring for school supplies early today to ensure that prices and supply remain reasonable and adequate as well as to check if retailers are following the listed price of manufacturers for the said products.
“These prices for school supplies shall remain the same until the opening of the Academic Year. Retailers found to be selling above them will be issued Show Cause Orders and be requested to explain the high prices on their products within 48 hours,” DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said.
Under the Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, the DTI should check prices of school supplies particularly pencil, ballpen, grade school pad paper, composition and spiral notebook, and, crayons.
According to DTI, only six brands of composition, writing and spiral notebooks, pad papers for Grades 1 to 4, intermediate pad paper, and ball pen had an increment of prices by 2.0 percent to 13 percent or Php0.25 to Php3.00.
These brands include Consolidated, Paperline, Yasaka, Veco, Easywrite, and Panda.
On the other hand, there were decrements in prices of some ballpen brans including Bic ballpens which cut its prices by half.
“In April, the DTI began coordinating with the manufacturers of school supplies to request for their price lists and determine any price increase or decrease in preparation for this year’s ‘Gabay sa Presyo ng (Price Guide for) School Supplies,’” DTI said.
“We modified the format of the guide in such a way that it will be easier for consumers to use it. The listing of brands per category is now arranged according to its prices, from the cheapest to the most expensive. We also included new categories such as the eraser and sharpener, for more help to consumers,” Dimagiba noted.
The Department urged consumers to regularly review school supplies prices at http://dti.gov.ph/dti/index.php/price-watch. Consumers are also asked to report to DTI those retailers that are selling school supplies above the price list at DTI’s hotline 751-3330 or 0917-834-3330.