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Prices of back-to-school items largely steady, Trade dep’t says

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Wednesday that 68% of the school supplies covered by its buyers’ guide were unchanged in price.

The DTI is set to release the “Gabay sa Pamimili ng School Supplies” (guidance on purchasing school supplies), which covers specific brands of notebook, pad paper, pencil, ballpoint pen, crayon, eraser, sharpener, and ruler.

According to the DTI’s Consumer Affairs and Legal Services group, the list will indicate the price changes and will be presented at the Plan Balik Eskwela (back to school) event of the Department of Education.

This year, 173 stock keeping units (SKUs) of school supplies were submitted, representing a 53 SKU increase from the previous year.

“Compared to last year’s set of SKUs, 68%, or 80 SKUs, of the 117 SKUs recorded no price movement, while 8%, or 9 SKUs, had decreased prices. In addition, only 24%, or 28 SKUs, showed an increase in prices,” the DTI said.

For this year, notebook prices range from P11.80 to P52, Grade 1-4 pad paper sold for P9.50 to P61, and intermediate pad paper prices fetched between P13.80 and P48.75.

Prices of pencils and ballpoint pens ranged from P11 to P33 and P3 to P33, respectively.

Sharpeners and rulers were priced at P15 to P69 and P16 to P29, respectively. Meanwhile, erasers fetched P4.50 to P20.

With classes resuming on July 29, the DTI urged consumers to check the labels of school supplies for the name and address of the manufacturer or importer and the number of leaves in notebooks and papers, among others.

“I urge consumers to buy school supplies from companies that comply with labeling requirements and use the price guide when shopping,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said.

The DTI will also be posting the “Gabay sa Pamimili ng School Supplies” on its website, it said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile