Ka Leody's claim on prices of commodities, accurate
Senatorial candidate Leody De Guzman's claim that the prices of commodities are more or less the same throughout the country is accurate. His statement, though, on the price of petroleum products in Mindanao being more expensive than in Metro Manila is not entirely accurate. De Guzman made these claims on DZRH's #Desisyon2019, January 31, as arguments for his stand against the existing minimum wage variations in different regions in the country.
Dati ang sahod ng mga manggagawa kung ano 'yung Metro Manila, siya du'n sa Mindanao. Pero dahil sa Herrera Law, na-regionalize ang presyo ng suweldo, dahil mas matipid daw ang gastusin ng mga manggagawa sa probinsiya dahil puwede daw mamitas na lamang ng gulay. Eh hindi naman totoo ‘yun. Hindi naman totoo ‘yun. Napatunayan ngayon na hindi totoo. Ngayon, 537 [ang sahod] sa Metro Manila, sa Mindanao ay 280, [o] 250. Samantalang ‘yung presyo ng noodles, ng itlog, ng lahat ay halos pare-pareho lang naman. Hindi naman mas mura du'n. Mas mahal pa nga ang gasolina du'n eh."
- Leody De Guzman, #Desisyon2019: DZRH Election Education, 31 January 2019
According to the Department of Trade and Industry’s latest Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) of Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities dated February 13, 2019, SRPs apply to products nationwide and to both supermarkets and wet markets. Meaning, such commodities are priced the same throughout the country.
Under Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, “basic necessities” include rice, corn, bread, fish and other marine products, pork, beef, poultry, eggs, milk, vegetables, root crops, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, salt, detergents, firewood, charcoal, candles, and drugs classified as essential by the Department of Health (DOH).
“Prime commodities,” on the other hand, include fruits, flour, canned goods, other dairy products, noodles, onions, garlic, vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, toilet soap, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, feeds and veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle, school supplies, basic construction materials and hardware, and all drugs not classified as essential drugs by the DOH.
At trading centers, prices of wet market goods such as meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables may vary according to region. This is according to the Price Situationer of Selected Agricultural Commodities published weekly by the Philippine Statistics Authority. As of the second week of April 2019, the price of lean beef per kilo, for example, varies from PhP 220 to PhP 360, beef with bones can be Php 170-300, lean pork can be PhP 180-250, pork liempo can be PhP 170-250, dressed chicken can be PhP 130-180, and medium chicken egg can be PhP 5-7 apiece. The data, however, shows that Metro Manila does not always have the most expensive commodities among the regions. For example, Metro Manila has the most expensive lean beef among all regions, but also has the cheapest price for eggs, and second cheapest for tilapia in the country.
On the other hand, De Guzman’s claim that petroleum prices are more expensive in Mindanao than in Metro Manila is not entirely true. The Department of Energy monitors weekly retail pump prices for Metro Manila, Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Based on the Prevailing Retail Prices of Petroleum Products in Metro Manila as of April 17, 2019, the prices of diesel for Petron ranges from PhP 43.29-46.04, while Shell ranges from PhP 42.05-46.25, and Caltex ranges from PhP 42.45-46.09. For the Prevailing Prices of Liquid Petroleum Products in Mindanao dated April 16, 2019, on the other hand, the prices of diesel for Petron is PhP 46.03-48.03, PhP 47.03-48.04 for Shell, and PhP 47.49-48.13 for Caltex. Meaning, the lowest prices of diesel in Mindanao is above the highest prices in Metro Manila.
However, the price of gasoline is cheaper in Mindanao than in Metro Manila. For gasoline with an octane rating of 95, or the mid-quality gasoline, Metro Manila Prices are as follows: Petron at PhP 53.41-59.86, Shell at PhP 53.00-59.51, and Caltex at PhP 53.19-59.34. For Mindanao: Petron is at PhP 52.01-53.11, Shell at PhP 52.09-53.10, and Caltex at PhP 52.20-52.55.
Additionally, De Guzman’s estimate of minimum wages matches the Daily Minimum Wage Rates per region as stated on the National Wages Productivity Commission (NWPC) website. Metro Manila currently has the highest daily minimum wage rate in the country at PhP 500-537, at least PhP 100 more than the other regions.
Mindanao is comprised of six regions, namely, Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX) with a minimum daily wage of PhP 303-316, Northern Mindanao (Region X) at PhP 331-365, Davao Region (Region XI) at PhP 381-396, Soccsksargen (Region XII) at PhP 290-311, Caraga Region (Region XIII) at PhP 320 pesos, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) at PhP 270-280, which is the lowest in the country.
Department of Trade and Industry. "Latest Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) of Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities." February 13, 2019. Accessed April 8, 2019. https://www.dti.gov.ph/media/advisories/11707-latest-srps-basic-necessities-prime-commodities.
"Republic Act No. 7581: Republic Acts - Philippine Laws Statutes and Codes." ChanRobles Virtual Law Library. May 17, 1992. Accessed April 8, 2019. http://laws.chanrobles.com/republicacts/76_republicacts.php?id=7585.
Philippine Statistics Authority. "Price Situationer of Selected Agricultural Commodities." https://psa.gov.ph/content/price-situationer-selected-agricultural-commodities-0.
Philippine Statistics Authority. "Weekly Price Watch of Selected Agricultural Items." April 17, 2019. https://psa.gov.ph/sites/default/files/TableSelPrSitAprWeek22019.xlsx.
Department of Energy. "Prevailing Retail Prices of Petroleum Products in Metro Manila. April 16, 2019. https://www.doe.gov.ph/sites/default/files/pdf/price_watch/petro_mm_2019_april_17.pdf.
Department of Energy Mindanao Field Office. "Prevailing Pump Prices of LPP in Mindanao." April 16, 2019. https://www.doe.gov.ph/sites/default/files/pdf/price_watch/petro_min_2019_april_16.pdf.
Department of Labor and Employment National Wages and Productivity Commission. "Daily Minimum Wage Rates." http://www.nwpc.dole.gov.ph/.
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