A SUGGESTED retail price (SRP) scheme for laptops and tablets could be based on memory capacity, though trade officials are wary of such “one-size-fits-all” criteria for imposing price ceilings on such devices, which have seen demand soar as schools shift to online lessons.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is still studying an SRP scheme and hopes to avoid inappropriate price categories because devices have complex technical specifications, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a radio interview Tuesday.

Supply has not been able to keep up with the demand generated by online schooling and work from home. ASUS Philippines has estimated that the market for such devices is underserved by up to 40%.

The DTI is set to announce its price ceilings on laptops and tablets this week.

Kung kakailanganin man (ng SRP), kaya ito’y pinag-aaralan, ay maglalagay tayo dun sa pinaka-basic features. Let’s say ilang gig ‘yung hardware, ilang gig ‘yung RAM niya, para at least ‘yung basics lang, may control tayo diyan (If an SRP is to be imposed, we will base it on the most basic features like gigabytes of memory),” Mr. Lopez said.

However, Mr. Lopez noted that the market is varied with many options for consumers.

Marami rin mga pagpipilian (There is a lot of choice)” he said, noting the wide range of prices.

The Computer Dealers Distributors Association of the Philippines (COMDDAP) said that the SRP could depend on the configuration of the devices. Top laptop brands usually sell for at least P30,000, COMDDAP President William Chua said in an e-mail last week.

“Unknown or clone brands (are) usually lower by 10%. The risk is the (lower) quality,” he said. — Jenina P. Ibañez