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Trade dep’t touts list of 41 firms agreeing to suspend price hike

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PHILSTAR

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said 41 manufacturing and retail firms have agreed to delay price increases as an inflation-control measure.

“The DTI was able to gain their support and cooperation, with some even expressing willingness to hold off from increases for the next six to nine months,” Trade Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Group Ruth B. Castelo said in a statement Thursday.

“We express our sincere gratitude to the manufacturers for their cooperation and support, especially at this time when it matters most to help alleviate the lives of our Filipino consumers,” Ms. Castelo, a lawyer, added.

The 41 include makers of canned goods including sardines, corned beef and other meats, whose prices are heavily weighted in inflation calculations. These products are among the basic necessities and prime commodities covered by a three-month price freeze.

They also include makers of bottled water, detergent, instant noodles, coffee, processed milk, candles, bread, soap, condiments, batteries and candy.

Among the list of 41 are Coca-Cola Co., Colgate-Palmolive Philippines, Inc., Energizer Philippines, Inc., Monde Nissin, Corp., Nestle Philippines Inc., Nutri-Asia, Procter & Gamble Philippines, Inc., and Unilever, Inc., Century Pacific Food, Inc., San Miguel Food and Beverage, Inc., Alaska Milk Corp., Asia Brewery, Inc., the Filipino-Chinese Bakery Association Inc., Green Cross, Inc. and Zest-O Corp.

Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. and SM Investments Corp. also committed not to increase prices on products sold under their private label brands Supersavers and SM Bonus, respectively.

Manufacturers have been requesting permission to increase prices on controlled items to offset rising raw materials costs and a weaker peso.

However, the DTI appealed to them to defer price hikes for at least three months.

Inflation in August hit 6.4%, the highest level since March 2009. — Janina C. Lim





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