DAVAO CITY (2 June) — THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 reiterates that school supplies must be sold not higher than the set suggested retail prices (SRPs).
With its mandate to continuously protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices, the department issues SRPs prior to the start of classes. This year’s school supplies SRPs are of the same level of the 2009 SRPs.
DTI Secretary Jesli A. Lapus stressed that prices of school supplies should remain at 2009 levels because the increase in the world prices of pulp, the raw material for paper production, should only be felt in the second semester and not at the start of the school year.
DTI Southern Mindanao director Marizon S. Loreto said that through the issuance of SRPs, the department can further protect the consumers.
“Aside from checking on the quality of school supplies being sold, we are also basing our monitoring of school supplies on the SRPs to ensure that there’s no profiteering,” Loreto said.
Based on the price monitoring report of the DTI-Davao City field office, prices of some school supplies in the city are even lower than the set SRPs.
Mongol pencil, for instance, is only sold at five pesos per piece, lower than its SRP of five pesos and fifty centavos.
Loreto said consumers must check the labels when buying school supplies: For notebooks and pad papers, they must look for the number of leaves, type, and size. They must also check the brand name or trade mark, name and address of manufacturer or importer, and country of origin. The same is true for crayons, with an additional check for the words “non toxic,” which shows that the product was tested and passed the allowed toxicity level set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For pencils, the hardness symbol (1, 2, or 3) must be specified.
All provincial offices of DTI will be monitoring school supplies until classes start. Posters on the said SRPs have also been placed at business establishments like bookstores, supermarkets, department stores, and wet markets to guide sellers and consumers. (DTI11)