The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 (Central Visayas) monitored supermarkets here Tuesday to ensure enough supplies of Christmas food products and that retailers follow the suggested retail price (SRP).
Asteria Caberte, director of DTI-7, led a monitoring team in the inspection of grocery stores along downtown Colon Street where customers usually flock to buy food and non-food items for the holiday season.
Caberte said these supermarkets were found to be strictly following the SRP for their displayed products and that some of their products were even priced 3 percent lower than the SRP set by the DTI.
The visit, she said, was also meant to ensure that there is enough supply of meat products for Noche Buena, amid the ban on pork and its by-products from Luzon, as ordered by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
Garcia ordered an extension of the ban on the entry of all pork products from Luzon until June 2020 amid the African swine fever (ASF) scare in the country.
“The result of the monitoring the price points of the two establishments (is) much lower than the suggested retail price that we issued.
We check on the supply situation of pork, of other meat products for Noche Buena items, they are all compliant with the SRP. Pork supply is enough, much more than what is needed,” Caberte told local reporters in an interview on the sidelines of the inspection.
The pork products found in the supermarkets were mostly locally-processed products from known food processors in Cebu.
Caberte said consumers have choices in products they want to consume, adding that some retailers have pegged their prices at the SRP while some marked their products with cheaper prices.
She also said there is stable supply of fresh chicken that is priced according to the SRP.
“So I think we will celebrate Christmas with no constriction of supply. Everything is normal. There is nothing to fear. We have seen how compliant (they were with) the prices. They are all local brands now,” she added.
Caberte warned of issuing show-cause orders against supermarkets that do not religiously follow the SRP. If proven to violate the DTI law, they will face a penalty ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP1 million, she said. (PNA)