SENATOR Imee Marcos has urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ramp up its surprise inspections on school supply vendors deviating from its month-old price guide.
Marcos said vendors will be taking advantage of the first week of classes when students and teachers are rushing to complete their school supplies and have no more time to haggle.
“Vendors are ignoring the DTI price guide,” she said in a mix of Tagalog and English.
Random price monitoring conducted by the senator’s office in some Metro Manila markets over the weekend and Monday, Aug. 28, 2023, showed that basic notebooks cost P23 to P60 each, or up to P8 more than the DTI price guide’s range of P23 to P52.
Pad paper was also cheaper in DTI’s price guide, at P20 to P28, but cost as much as P35, particularly in Caloocan and Rizal markets.
Crayons in various quantities cost P30 to P100 per box, while DTI’s price guide listed them at P24 to P69.
However, assorted pencils and ballpens could be found at cheaper prices of P7 to P11, compared to DTI’s listing of P11 to P17.
Bargain hunters buying in bulk in Divisoria will find that regular notebooks previously priced at P180 to P200 per ream now cost P250, while spiral notebooks that used to cost P180 to P220 per ream now sell for as high as P300.
Marcos credited the DTI for its surprise inspections in Divisoria and other markets in the past two weeks but noted that prices increased once inspections were over.
“Ilang magulang ang mismo ang nagsabi na wala rin sila magawa kahit ipamukha sa mga tindera ang price guide ng DTI,” Marcos said.
(Some parents themselves have said that they couldn’t do anything even if they confronted vendors with DTI’s price guide.)
“Klaro na mas kailangang tutukan pa,” the senator added.
(It’s clear that closer monitoring is needed.) / PR