State raises prices of commodities
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) effectively raised the prices of basic goods after approving on January 27 proposals to implement higher suggested retail price (SRP) of 73 basic and essential commodities.
Compared to the last SRP list issued by the DTI on August 29, 2021, the prices of commodities are expected to increase by 1-10%, including canned sardines and meat products, milk, break, noodles, salt, toilet and laundry soap, bottled water, candles and batteries.
In sum, the price of canned sardines increased by up to ₱1.25; ₱2.25 for milk products; ₱3.5 for a pack of bread; ₱0.25 for instant noodles; ₱1.45 for salt; ₱2.25 for laundry soap; ₱4 for bottled water; ₱15 for a pack of candles; ₱1.5 for meat loaf; ₱3 for corned beef; ₱1.5 for beef loaf; ₱1.25 for toilet soap; and ₱17.25 for batteries.
The impact of the price increases will primarily be felt by the 18.6 million poorest Filipino families or equivalent to 81.8 million individuals who earn measly incomes. These include 2.9 million families earning ₱11,000 and below monthly. This will also be shouldered by 8.4 million families earning ₱11,000-₱22,000, and 7.6 million families earning ₱22,000-₱44,000 monthly. Approximately ₱10,071 is spent by families for food and other basic expenses every month. Their income is insufficient to meet the most basic needs of a family of five.
The regime announced the price increase after bragging that inflation rate has been steadily decreasing in recent months. However, this decrease is only caused by a drop in demand due to unemployment, dropping income, depletion of savings, and lower consumption of families. In general, Filipino household consumption spending has decreased by 5% during the last quarter of 2021, compared to the third quarter.
With incessant price increases, it is expected that families with the lowest incomes will find it more difficult to meet nutrition standards. According to a research by Foodlink Advocacy Cooperative, a family of five needs at least ₱14,368 per month to eat nutritious foods, based on standards of Pinggang Pinoy. Pinggang Pinoy is a food guide set by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute to meet the body’s energy and nutrient needs of Filipinos.