DTI warns vs ‘panic buying’ for school supplies

Parents should exercise their rights to choose when purchasing school supplies for their children. Check different stores for the most economical products, according to the Department of Trade and Industry. PN PHOTO

ILOILO – There is more than enough school supplies in the province, stressed the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), so parents need not panic into buying them.

Public elementary and high schools resume classes on June 3.

According to Ma. Dorita Chavez, officer-in-charge of DTI-Iloilo’s Consumer Protection Division, panic buying should be avoided.

“Damo-damo gid kita school supplies subong such as ballpoint pens, notebooks, pad papers, pencils, crayons, and erasers, among others,” said Chavez.

But she suggested that parents purchase their children’s school supplies this early to avoid overcrowding stores as June 3 approaches.

Chavez also said there could be “minimal” increases in the prices of school supplies this year, citing the increase in labor cost.

She also said a giant paper mill in China that supplied many Filipino manufacturers closed shop, so there could be an increase in the prices of pad papers and notebooks, too.

Based on DTI’s Suggested Retail Price (SRP) released just this May 25, there is a minimal increase in notebook prices – from P14 in May 2018 to P17 now (for notebooks using econobond type of paper, 80 leaves).

Notebooks using bondpaper or bookpaper type (which are whiter and clearer) are more expensive, according to Chavez.

There is also a minimal price increase in pencils (by P2) and pad papers (by P3 to P5).

“In our latest monitoring, retailers here are adhering to the SRP. Others are even selling below the current SRP their old stocks which were not sold last year,” she revealed.

Chavez also said parents should check the brands and labels of the school supplies they intend to buy.

“Parents are encouraged to exercise their rights to choose. We advise them to look around different establishments and check the labels and the most economical products for them,” said Chavez.

For school supplies, parents are encouraged to look for the brand’s name, manufacturer, importer and country where the product was sourced.

It is also important that parents look for the “non-toxic” label on coloring materials to ensure that the product has passed the “allowed toxicity level” of the Food and Drug Administration, stressed Chavez.

“They should also look for the hardness symbol (1, 2, 3) in pencils and tip classification in ballpens to ensure that they get the right product they need,” she added. (With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN)


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