Press Briefing

Economic Briefing with Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez and Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino of Strategy Economics and Results Group, Department of Finance

Event Press Briefing
Location Malacañang Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building

ROCKY IGNACIO/PTV4: Good morning Malacañang Press Corps at sa ating mga bisita, welcome sa weekly economic briefing. Today we have Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino ng Strategy Economics And Results Group, Department of Finance.

ASEC. LAMBINO: Magandang umaga po. The Economic Development Cluster focuses on the promotion of rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth. It focuses on such issues as competitiveness, creation of jobs and MSME development, and the development of national industries. The cluster is tasked with bringing about a deep and wide distribution of economic opportunities and benefits to the Filipino people.

This is the first of a weekly briefing of the Economic Development Cluster, and we are doing this as part of many and multiple efforts so that the public is better informed about issues that they deem important. So the first speaker in this economic briefing is none other than our DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

SEC. LOPEZ: Thank you, Asec. Tony. Good morning friends.

So the first part of the set of briefings will be on prices. You know, the concern of our President to make sure that prices would be stable para hindi po mahirapan ang ating mga kababayan. Kaya ho ang DTI has been really intensifying the efforts in ensuring that prices are within the suggested retail price. And whenever we talk about suggested retail prices, please note that this covers basically the basic necessities and prime commodities; these are the products that would have SRPs ‘no. So it doesn’t cover all products that you will see in the supermarkets.

So we just identified, anong mga produkto ang talagang basic na kakailanganin ng ating mga kababayan. So just to give you an example, this will basically include iyong mga sardinas, de lata, corned beef, instant noodles, loaf bread, bottled water, coffee, powdered coffee of course, milk-iyong evaporated pati condensed, powdered milk din, sabon-the sabon na bareta at saka sabon na bath soap; and there are specific brands ‘no.

So, let me just give you an update on the prices because parati ho natin naririnig ‘no na sa ating mga kababayan iyong reklamo about sa presyo.

So, when we started implementing the TRAIN last January 1, as you know, maraming naging concern agad on pagtaas ng presyo daw kaagad ‘no. And presumably iyong iba nagsamantala, may mga pagsasamantala; and even may mga warning na rin noon na even on the gas station huwag munang magtaas kasi may imbentaryo pa sila, so iyon ‘yung past. And that in terms of iyong prices of these basic necessities/prime commodities, the DTI has already started its intensified efforts in making sure that prices would be stable.

In fact we were showing this particular example: the excise tax on diesel, iyong direct impact niya is on the distribution cost. And whenever you compute for the impact of a price increase—of a component prices increase, we have to understand that what percent does it account for? So for example iyong gasolina, iyong fuel will account for only about 5%, nandoon siya papasok sa distribution cost. In some companies, it would account for even 3% but alam ninyo naman sa accounting, mayroon ding distribution cost doon sa cost of production; mayroon din doon sa ‘pag finished goods na. So ina-assume na natin, pagsamahin na natin 5%.

And then you will have to compute, ano iyong naging increase? At that time, hindi pa tumaas ang presyo ng world oil prices. So we were just factoring in the 250 excise tax and the VAT which is about 280 total. And we apply it over the—at that time, about 45 pesos per liter for diesel. So the increase there is 6% – given iyon kung i-a-apply na iyong excise tax. Then you apply the 6% doon sa 5%, iyon ‘yung sinasabi natin you don’t apply the 6% on the total po ano. So you apply it, ano iyong contribution niya sa total production cost – at doon makikita na ang percent increase should only be 0.3%, wala pang 1%. So that explanation was given at that time.

We were also explaining na if the raw material was the one that changed – kunwari makikita natin dito sa chart: 70% of cost of goods, maybe I would say 50% or 60% will be raw materials. ‘Pag iyon ang nagbago ng presyo, iyon ang malaking impact sa presyo. Pero kung ang nag-increase na price is just the 5% of that product cost, kaya sinasabi natin maliit lang ang impact. So the 0.3% would be the increase, and in terms of peso, for a 15-peso can of… let’s say canned sardines, ang increase lang doon ay – if I remember right .05 – singko lang ‘no. In fact 4 centavos, 5 centavos – iyon lang iyong magiging increase niya in actual peso term, centavos lang.

And what would normally happen? In fact even for a larger increase, ina-absorb po ‘yan ng mga manufacturers, hindi nag-i-increase. That’s why it’s understandable na hindi mag-i-increase iyong mga presyo. Hindi po—iyon po ay based on facts and based on actual statistics that we have.

Now moving forward, we realized that iyong price ng oil nag-increase not because of TRAIN. Ito iba nang factor, this is the world oil price/crude oil price that went up from I think about 50 dollars per barrel to about 72 dollars per barrel. So computing the impact of that, assuming there’s—it think mayroon nang actual example, 12 pesos – but assuming 10 pesos lang, just for ease on computation, so that’s a 2.2% increase in oil price. You apply again that to the 5%, so iyong dati nating 0.3% na increase, based on actual akyat ng oil price, 1.1% ang increase niya; that is equivalent to about, kung 15-peso again iyong de lata, 16 centavos, okay, impact on cost.

Now question uli: I-a-absorb ba noong manufacturer or ipapasa na sa consumer? And based on statistics – I will show you later – na in-absorb din po noong ibang manufacturers, okay. So iyon ‘yung 16 centavos impact. So karamihan dito, why is it being absorbed? Because as we have also observed, whenever we go around and I personally joined some of the price inspection, kasi gusto ko pagdudahan iyong mga result eh, baka mamaya binobola ako ‘no, so I will join the price monitoring inspection sometimes. And I can see for myself, you know the prices are even 1 peso or 2 pesos lower than SRP – sa lata.

So, a 16-centavo impact on cost, it’s so easy to absorb. Kasi ganoon kalaki nga iyong ina-absorb ng… sometimes it’s the manufacturer, sometimes it’s the retailer giving further discounts. Why are they doing that? Competition. Competition is the one that’s driving prices down, because if you will notice in many categories, lalo na if it’s what we call FMCG-Fast Moving Consumer Goods, there’s so many brands; nag-aaway-away ‘yan and they do not really want… they would like to be the last one to increase their prices. Why? ‘Di ba tayong consumer, minsan wala tayong brand preference, pipiliin natin iyong pinakamura – unless may brand loyalty ka na kahit tumaas presyo niya, bibilhin mo pa rin.

But all things considered… siguro hindi siya pihikan sa quality, ‘dito na ako, mas mura ng 20 centavos, mas mura ng 15 centavos’… ganoon lang, mamimili na. Or sometimes, it will force them to try the other brand. As a brand owner, ayaw mong pasubukan iyong brand kasi baka magustuhan at hindi na bumalik sa’yo – iyon ‘yung ayaw gawin ng mga brand managers. So they would be the last to propose a price increase, that’s why they will continue to absorb until malaki na talaga iyong impact sa cost that it’s hitting them on the bottom line.

And again going back to earlier explanation, ‘pag malaki na iyong impact sa cost, chances are nanggaling iyon doon sa major raw material – it’s not from iyong examples natin sa oil. And nasho-show na na-absorb siya, the next chart will show the prices two months before, and in fact we’ve compared it even to the start of the year na there are no changes ‘no. Ito po, these are specific brands, specific sizes by the different products that you have.

So you have there the canned sardines, condensed milk, the Bear Brand, dairy filled, the Pinoy Tasty, iyan iyong loaf bread. We also monitor the gardenia loaf bread, lucky me noodles, payless kasama rin iyan, CDO meatloaf, Argentina, Wellington flour, etc. So the prices have not increased except for the last line, I think that’s brown sugar – iyon yung from 40 pesos to 45 pesos.

Okay, so may nag-increase din naman, okay. Now, outside the Department of Trade and Industry, mayroong mga agriculture products na nasa palengke. We don’t cover this, DA po ang nagko-cover nito. And however, we have this National Price Coordinating Council, we meet regularly and for emergency purposes we also meet like the one we conducted, I think three weeks ago just to check on the prices. So, the data here is coming from the Philippine Statistic Agency, sila ang nagmo-monitor noong mga agriculture prices nationwide. So, what we are showing here is just a snap shop noong Metro Manila muna, otherwise, we will be showing a lot of data.

But just to remind you, that pag nag-monitor si PSA by region po iyan and it’s also arranged – mayroong lowest, mayroong highest and then there is a prevailing price. So, para consistent lang po kami and we don’t show, you can expect that the lowest and the highest, ito po iyong median. Ito po iyong prevailing price na pinapakita natin. And again this is just Metro Manila for ease of comparison. Anyway, 7o% or maybe 40% of the total market nationwide is usually accounted for by Metro Manila.

So, here you can see that yes, there are minor or minimal increases, we compared it to a year ago na, iyong before all there TRAIN and whatever happened since last year. So May of last year versus May of this year, May 25.

So, we saw here the increase in the price of rice from 36 to 40, 4 pesos regular milled po iyon; on well-milled from 41 to 42. But you will note that this again, may not be attributed to go to TRAIN, kasi again one explanation in all these agriculture products, the explanation here is really dependent on the supply and demand, kaya malikot ang presyo ng agriculture product. In fact, it’s not only the supply and demand nationwide, the supply and demand in that particular palengke, in that wet market.

Kunwari in that palengke, ang na-deliver na gulay ganito lang, iba ang presyuhan for that day or na-deliver na manok, ganito lang. Isa pa, nationwide, iba-iba po ang presyo sa bawat palengke, bawat probinsya, because iyong ibang probinsiya, malapit sa palaisdaan, so mura ang isda; iyong ibang probinsiya malapit sa manukan, poultry, so mura ang mga manok doon.

So, may mga ganiyang dynamics. That’s why we were—before suggesting to Secretary Piñol to put an SRP. But I’ll relay that story later. Therefore, iba-iba po talaga ang presyo ng agriculture products, that is why we are just using for purpose of explanation, iyong Metro Manila.

So there are increases as mentioned on rice, pork liempo, chicken, chicken-egg they are all the same, pareho po compare to last year. Ang isang malaking na-increase ay iyong Galunggong, from 140 to 160 – again this is primarily because of the iyong supply of Galunggong, iyong supply situation, iyong harvest.

Onion, nag-increase ng kaunti from 60 to 80 pesos and the brown sugar again, na-repeat dito 40 to 45. However, please note na may mga agriculture products that went down. For instance: eggplant, from 50 pesos to 40 pesos; ang garlic, from 200 pesos to 80 pesos. So, ang laki rin ng binaba and also onions, I’m sorry, cooking oil from 35 to 30 pesos.

So, the reality is mayroon ding mga bumababa na agriculture products and as mentioned again, it’s really dependent on the supply and demand situation for those particular periods and to note also that there are non-basic necessity – hindi kailangan, non-essential, non-prime commodity na may mga price movements. We take note of that. Like the likes of tobacco and softdrinks.

As we all know, precisely, gusto nga nating tumaas iyong presyo noon or not necessarily gustong tumaas kung hindi nagpataw nga tayo ng excise tax noon precisely to discourage consumption, doon nga po may excise tax. So we can expect of course a price increase in these products. At if you look at the inflation sources, isa iyon sa mga lumalabas na mga nag-increase na price hindi ba, iyong tobacco and beverages, non-alcoholic beverages.

And then, of course on price increase of oil products, again this can be attributed nga to the movement of the global price of fuel. And of course, kasama na rin na iyong depreciation of the peso.

Then, there are non-basic necessity also the likes of particular brands, Milo in sachet, 21% increase. Knorr sinigang mix has price increase of 13%. Iyong sinigang mix, so siguro kapag hindi tayo kumain niyan, hindi naman tayo mamamatay. Kaya hindi naman masasabing basic po siya. Pang mayaman lang po iyan, kina Mr. Jonas po iyan, kina Asec iyan.

Tang powder juice drink, ito may tax ito, kaya talagang malaki iyong jump 84%, kasi sugar-sweetened beverage po iyan. So, talagang may mga increases na ganoon. So, what we are saying is that, mayroon talagang mga nag-increase pero iyon yung mga non-basic. That’s a reality and siguro ito rin iyong nakatulong sa pagtaas ng inflation. But at least para sa ating mga kababayan iyong mga basic necessity, you can always have access and you can also buy that at stable prices especially, in fact, at some point in time may nire-recommend na nga ako, kung hindi nag-increase iyong prices sa mga grocery supermarkets, then let’s just by sa groceries and supermarkets, kasi makakasiguro kayo, iyong presyo ng SRP doon, sinusunod, in fact, lower pa than SRP.

I went to Davao. I went to Cebu the other day lang and Davao a few weeks ago. Went to a grocery at doon nakita ko, in fact, iyong lata ng gatas even 4 pesos lower than the SRP. Bakit kasi tinanong ko, and all their products there, in that grocery, babanggitin ko na, it’s Victoria grocery in Davao, lahat mura ng 2 pesos to 4 pesos. So tinanong ko rin iyong may-ari, hindi ako sa nagrereklamo, sabi ko, pero bakit mura ang presyo sa inyo. Sabi niya, gusto po namin makilala na mura dito sa amin, para ang haba nga ng pila ang daming tao.

The other day, so sabihin ninyo o baka iyong malalaking grocery and supermarkets lang iyan. So, the other when I went to Cebu for may innovations conference kami doon. Nag-price check din kami. Sabi ko show me a grocery na home grown, hindi national account, in other words, hindi siya mga SM, Robinson and Puregold, hindi iyon. So, there’s a homegrown grocery called La Nueva, started as a mini grocery, naging air conditioned na rin siya, pero talagang very Spartan iyong ayos niya at ang presyo rin 2 pesos lower, so ganoon din, same story.

I think that was about 1 PM or 2PM, iyong pagka-land na pagka-land namin dumiretso na kami doon and ganoon kamura iyong presyo, nakita na namin ang haba na ng pila middle of the day at iyong bumibili maramihan. Iyon pala, doon din bumibili iyong mga nasa sari-sari store.

So, bumibili sila doon and with that kind of price lower than SRP price, kung ako ay sari-sari store, kahit patungan ko ng piso iyon, baka pumasok pa rin sa SRP iyong kanilang presyo. So, what we are saying is that, ito ay mga regular grocery in a – not in a city, outskirt ng Cebu ito and then ganun pa rin ang pricing po nila.

On the sweetened beverages, babalikan ko lang, there is this recent directive also from the President na iyong sweetened beverage, lalo na iyang mga powdered juice drink. So, nalaman ng Presidente na it’s mainly sugar, iyan naman ay hindi itinatago. If you look at the back, nakasulat, basta kung ano iyong number one product item doon ingredient, ibig sabihin iyon yung pinakamaraming big part of that product.

So ang unang-una sugar, so ibig sabihin that drink is really mainly sugar and a few flavorings. So nag-worry iyong Presidente, so papano iyan, eh iyan pa naman ang usually pinangreregalo sa may sakit ko, di ba Tang, Eight o’clock or ano. May sakit mo, hindi ba bibigyan mo niyan. So sabi niya, there should be truth in advertising. He is referring to truth in labeling. So in the label, we were explaining, nandoon naman po siya sa likod. But I think what he wants to say now, is dapat may warning, para bang sigarilyo, may warning ‘this can be dangerous to your health.’

Oo… So may directive ang Presidente na kailangan may warning itong mga sugar sweetened beverages – kung high sugar, ilagay sa harap na ‘containing high sugar.’ So para bang… it can be dangerous to your health. So we’ll issue the necessary order in that regard, but we’ll have to talk to the… again, the stakeholders as we implement that directive from the President.

Okay, then we cited the other products that increased. If you look at the inflation, again, so it’s not the basic necessity and prime commodities, but we saw it in—iyong price increases sa beverage, tobacco, and of course the oil, because of world oil prices and in other services like restaurants. Iyong mga… dumami ang kumakain sa labas kasi dumami iyong pera rin ng tao ‘no. At iyong computation nga ng DOF, if I remember right, 12 billion out of the tax savings ‘no, iyong hindi na nagbayad ng tax because of the tax exemption – that’s 12 billion pesos float, extra money of the people kasi hindi na kinolekta ng government.

Tapos mayroon ka pang savings sa education, sa health… na ang pera—at saka iyong spending ng government sa infrastructure na iyong pera raw na that’s really going around the economy is about 32 billion extra per month ‘no – so that’s 32 billion pesos extra. Iyong sa construction na ginastos, it goes to the pockets of the workers also. So umiikot ‘yan, it goes back to the people. Nagkaroon ng trabaho, over 90 thousand jobs in the construction. Kaya nga ‘pag naghahanap na noong mga ibang trabahador nawawala na rin… and that’s what we need; that’s why we have to have investments and job creation activities so that the income or the wages will go up naturally – it’s because of again, supply and demand of jobs versus supply and versus labor ‘no.

So, iyon po ‘yung dapat ambisyunin natin and that’s why I also have that comment on mga wage increases eh. Medyo dangerous po iyon, but I guess just to address certain considerations, pinag-uusapan naman po iyon sa mga Regional Tripartite Wage Boards ‘no. So—but I would say medyo delikado po iyon. But nevertheless, so let them handle the wage increases, but what we’re saying… the more sustaining solution for wage increases would be more jobs to be created and more investments to come in – ‘yan ang solusyon sa pag-increase ng wages.

Now going back to the prices… so given the mandate of the President na concern sa prices at iyong mga reklamo sa prices o paigtingin – we intensify the prices monitoring activity. So ang DTI again, fact… statistics basis po tayo; we cover 400 stores weekly in the NCR. At the universe we count is about 610 in NCR, so we are increasing it to 600, halos sagad na… to cover more groceries and supermarkets. Again, these are not just the big groceries, pati iyong small groceries; and from 400 to 600 in NCR, and outside NCR-500 ‘no, accounts outside NCR – that’s being done already.

Of course we have some initiatives na we hope to launch soon, we are just collecting the number of stores that will join us. We are launching a DTI Suking Tindahan – it’s a project that we really want to expand the coverage noong SRPs.

Now when we toyed with this idea several months ago, na isama ang SRP sa mga sari-sari stores, maraming nagreklamong sari-sari stores. Alam ninyo naman ‘yan, halos one million po ‘yan or even more ‘no, iyong mga unregistered ‘yan.

So… of course pinakinggan po natin sila, but this time our approach will be voluntary – because we understand the trade; and the trade, mayroon po diyan parati sa mga neighborhood na malalaking sari-sari store na volume – ang tawag, high frequency account; hindi po ‘yan grocery, hindi ‘yan supermarket pero sari-sari store na napakalaki, na parang sila na rin iyong jobber and wholesaler in that area. So ang gagawin po natin, we will identify those stores and invite them to be part of this DTI Suking Tindahan, kung saan we will accredit them, put a seal so that people will know that the stores are carrying SRP priced basic products, basic necessity and prime commodities.

So it because voluntary, but the marketing advantage to those stores, makikita sila na mura sila doon. So definitely mag-gravitate iyong—it will attract more customers, mag-gravitate iyong mga tao, pupunta po sa mga tindahan na iyon. So that’s a program we intend to launch hopefully by the start of July. ‘Yan… so we can start with—ang estimate po nito, I think over one thousand of this profile, of these stores ‘no. And ‘pag sinabi mong over one thousand, we will be hitting at least one per municipality more or less ‘no. And hopefully more—and this is not limited to the major sari-sari stores, this can include cooperatives who would like to participate. Because cooperatives are very captive market, iyong mga members nila – so they can also participate and be accredited as a DTI Suking Tindahan.

Next chart, as mentioned a while ago that we also suggest that since the DTI covers grocery/supermarkets, hindi po namin covered iyong palengke, dahil sa palengke nandoon iyong mga fresh goods, chilled products – manok, baboy, karne, gulay, prutas. So we suggested kay Secretary Piñol, maglagay tayo ng SRP. Immediately sagot po niya, given the, you know, iyong panawagan ng mga kababayan natin, maglalagay daw po ng SRP – Metro Manila muna para ho… again, to solve that problem, iyong binanggit natin kanina na ‘pag outside Metro Manila iba-iba ang SRP ‘no, depende kung saan ang lugar mo; kung malapit sa palaisdaan or sa manukan.

So gagawin po niya ay Metro Manila, at nagtawag na siya ng stakeholders meeting po para dito. I think the other day, may nilabas na siyang ilang produkto na na-identify na, na isasama sa SRP. Wala pa nga lang nabanggit doon na, I think ongoing iyong stakeholders discussion on the meat products – the chicken, pork and the karne ‘no, the beef. But I think nabanggit na po doon ilang gulay at saka isda ‘no, so that there will be an SRP on those products.

The reason why we suggested mag-SRP sa palengke, kasi kung walang SRP, hindi mo mababasehan kung may profiteering. So we said that if there’s an SRP, the retailers would more or less be guided and be… in a way restricted ‘no to behave also and to just to price within that SRP.

And also, other actions to be taken: close coordination with the stakeholders to ensure reasonableness of the BNTC; to activate also a consumer’s hotlines and to empower the consumers. Iyong DTI po mayroong mobile app – e-Presyo app, you can download it, libre po iyon, DTI doesn’t charge anything and that you can see there anong produkto, anong groceries, anong presyo. So you will be able to compare saan mura iyong, let’s say corned beef na ganitong brand. So you can open up, let’s say the nearby supermarkets and you might want to go to the supermarket na gusto mo puntahan, kung saan lowest iyong price noon.

So those are the initiatives. The last chart I think would be the contact numbers, tama ba? ‘Ayan… so please note iyong contact numbers.

So maybe I’ll stop there, I have some charts but maybe baka sa ano na lang ‘to… baka better discussed by DOF or ano… on the causes of inflation ‘no. But somehow na-tackle naman natin na iyong causes noong inflation are really brought about heavily by the world crude oil prices, the rice price because nagka-shortage nga po sa—from the NFA but, hindi nag-shortage naman iyong commercial rice ‘no but somehow nag-increase ng mga one to three pesos per kilo; and then the tobacco and other causes.

Thank you.

ROCKY IGNACIO/PTV4: Okay Secretary, may question lang ang MPC…

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, may we know kung ano po iyong napag-usapan sa previous Cabinet meeting on the alleviation measure in response to the implementation of TRAIN?

SEC. LOPEZ: Ah, okay. So iyon po iyong hindi ko prinesent, kasi nandoon iyon sa susunod kong ipe-present. But we can—no, we can mention… kasi hindi po department namin ito. But off hand I can just make mention of the other efforts ‘no. As you may have heard, probably iyong DSWD is taking care of the Unconditional Cash Transfer – they have about 10 million to cover.

I understand that as of May, meron ng na pay out na about 10 billion via a cash card or OTC – over the counter – with conduits. 2.7 million po ang beneficiaries out of the 10 million beneficiaries. They commit that by end July, about 80% of the 10 million will receive the full amount of 2,400 for 2018. By mid September, they commit about 100%. Hindi about, they commit 100% of 10 million to receive full amount of 2,400 for 2018.

The other efforts are with DOTr – Pantawid Pasada Program. They said that by July, they will start the distribution of debit cards to all public utility jeeps sa franchise holders. Discounted medicines by the end of thirds quarter, ang DOH may administrative order to facilitate implementation by January 1, 2019. BIR will also have to issue revenue issuance on this.

As you know also on the rice, there’s that effort to alleviate the supply situation that is why about a month ago, the President directed the importation of rice G-to-G, government-to-government para mapabilis. I think that’s—the two batches of two 50,000 metric tons. And an update there is – on the rice – is a—from the NFA, sinabi po nila na as of June 19, may mga dumating na po at ibinababa na po sa Surigao, 100,000 bags, completed; Cagayan De Oro – 61,023 bags; General Santos – 63,694 bags; Subic – 22,300 – we will send you a copy of this. Sa Tabaco, Albay – 18,503; Batangas darating daw sa June 21 to 24. Basta ang total po ay 265,520 bags.

And then—actually as this is happening, the NFA also observes some reduction in prices of rice already. That is why even in the inflation figure, we see the tapering off ‘no from the previous month of 4.5 umakyat lang ng 4.6. So sa most month-on-month zero percent gross. And with all these coming—I mean the supply… addressing the supply of rice—and even on sugar na tumataas nakita natin na nag-allow ang DA at SRA ng importation of 200,000 metric tons of sugar.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Secretary, you mentioned about wage hike proposals being dangerous, can you elaborate on that?

SEC. LOPEZ: Oo. Kasi ang problema ho natin sa wage hike, mandated—again, we are referring to regional, not national ha. Even if we’re regional, there are of course—the reality is that, hindi po lahat wage earners. Pag nag-increase tayo diyan, tataas ang cost; pag tumaas ang cost, baka ito rin magtulak ng presyo, tumaas ang presyo ng mga bilihin. And of course ang tatamaan, buong sambayanan, hindi lang iyong wage earners. So those who did not benefit from the wage hike will also get affected. So iyon po iyong diperensiya doon.

But if we are successful in maintaining industrial peace, there is peace and order, rule of law – na pinapaigting po ng ating Pangulo – no corruption, good business environment. Investment should come in, create more jobs, iyan ang magda-drive up ng wages. We all know this.

Particular example po – reality – we are looking for… let’s say people, iyong mga drivers, wala ka nang makuha, lahat nag-Grab and dati Uber. Ang presyo ng driver, in fact, some of my friends would say tinaasan ko na ng P500 or P1000 per month, wala pa rin; P2,000 per month, wala pa rin siyang makuhang driver ‘no. Addition iyon doon sa… mga increase na ibinibigay nila at wala pa ring makuha. That’s because of, again, greater demand ‘no than the supply.

Parang iyon ang—kung ikaw ay masipag at marunong kang mag-drive, walang dahilan na hindi ka makahanap po ng trabaho, merong naghahanap parati ng driver. Or constructions workers, ang dami na nga daw nagpupunta sa construction, sa build, build. So iyan ang nagda-drive up ng wage. That’s a better solution.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: So, Secretary you think, it’s not yet advisable to adjust wages for now?

SEC. LOPEZ: Sige ganito na lang. There can be consideration because of the inflation. So if you ask me, there can be a minimal adjustment. But that should not be more than what is necessary – maybe that’s the point – because you will really create a strong pressure on inflation.

But again, it’s not—for me, it’s not a national policy, we will let the Regional Tripartite Wage Board handle the different economic situation in the different regions. Because in some regions, kung wala namang inflation, di dapat wala naman sigurong wage adjustment doon; kaya ginawa iyan by region. So depende sa situation sa region.

MARICEL HALILI/TV 5: Hi sir, good morning. Sir, just a follow up. You said minimal increase, how minimal, sir?

SEC. LOPEZ: Oh, iyon nga depende sa inflation in that area. Kung ano ang naramdaman na inflation ng bawat region, that can be a basis for adjustment. Again, just to give consolation doon sa mga affected parties. But again, kung ako iyong tatanungin, sana wala na lang, I am not against the labor, kasi ang mangyayari nga, ang tama nung inflation, baka mas tamaan iyong buong sambayanan. So iyon yung concern lang natin doon. It’s other than the wage earners lang.

MARICEL HALILI/TV 5: So definitely, you don’t agree, sir, doon sa call ng ilang labor sector for a nationwide wage hike?

SEC. LOPEZ: No, dangerous po.

MARICEL HALILI/TV 5: Sir, just a follow up about doon po sa na-mention ninyo kanina on health warning doon sa sugar sweetened drinks. How soon will it be implemented, sir?

SEC. LOPEZ: Give us, maybe one or two months para maayos natin iyong implementation.

MARICEL HALILI/TV 5: Ano po bang documents ang kailangan doon, will the DTI issue an administrative order?

SEC. LOPEZ: No, actually this—we’ll have to talk or coordinate with FDA also. So beyond the labeling requirements, there can be also—part of the label such warning. So it will have to be with the FDA of the DOH, of the Department of Health that will really execute this particular policy or ruling. Kasi under sa kanila iyong mga labeling. But as we develop that, we’ll have to discuss with the stake holders ‘no. Unang-una, we identify, anong produkto ito, iyong talagang halos sugar lang ang laman. Iyong mga high sugar din, you know marami ring—if you look at the internet, I Googled it ang daming mga high-sugar products, food and beverages. So we will have to select ano talaga dito, especially kung ang main ingredient is sugar and it’s not really clear on that product. So, it becomes really a health risk.

So because many people hindi po tumitingin sa likod, iyong ingredients. Pag tumatanda ka na, you tend to look at the ingredients at the back. So kung titingnan mo iyong ano iyong main ingredient nito, iyon yung unang sasabihin doon eh; and according to the contribution iyon. Pero kung bata ka pa, kuha ka lang ng kuha.

TINA PANGANIBAN-PEREZ/GMA7: Sir, connected po doon, ano po ang naging trigger ni Presidente doon sa sugar warning?

SEC. LOPEZ: Ano po, dahil napag-usapan po, isa dito sa product na na-cite na tumaas ay iyong… banggitin ko na iyong Tang, which is just a representation nung lahat nung powder juice drink. Tapos sabi niya ay… ‘oh ba’t tumaas?’ Kasi ito nga iyong may excise tax, bakit may excise tax, kasi ho high sugar po iyan. And in fact the ingredients says… it’s really mainly sugar. So sabi niya ‘aba delikado po pala iyan.’ Sabi niya, ‘meron ba tayong ano diyan…’ iyon nga binanggit niya, truth in advertising or truth in labeling. So, dapat ibandera rin iyon.

TINA PANGANIBAN-PEREZ/GMA7: Sir, wala naman pong personal health concern si Presidente about sugar?

SEC. LOPEZ: Wala, ako meron. Si Presidente, wala. Hindi napag-usapan iyong diabetes or what, it’s really the concern. Kasi ang kuwento niya, si Presidente, iyong stock. Ako talaga napi-feel ko iyong concern niya doon sa tao. Sinasabi niya, ‘naku iyan pa naman iyong nireregalo…’ siya ang nagsabi niyan, ‘iyan pa naman ang nireregalo sa mga auntie – iyong mga matatanda – tapos iyon pala ang binibigay mo purong sugar pala iyon. Tapos sila naman timpla nang timpla, tapos iyong kinamatay diabetes.’ Pero sinabi po niya iyong example na iyan. So he is really concerned na… kung ito ay naibibigay lamang ng walang warning.

PART 5, ECONOMIC BRIEFING, JUNE 20, 2018

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So sir, may posibilidad na we will be going beyond sugar sweetened beverages dito sa health warning na ito?

SEC. LOPEZ: Posible, posible po.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Ano po sir iyong nakikita natin?

SEC. LOPEZ: Well ang mga high sugars, we all know mga energy drinks hindi ba, high sugar iyon. Actually ano pa ba… actually the rest would be the… iyong medium sugar which is of course the softdrinks, pero obvious na iyon eh, nandoon na iyon. So we’ll have to identify alin itong mga high sugar, maybe the candies and ano… sugar lang talaga din iyon, halos sugar iyon. So kailangan lang, may mga ganoong warning.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Opo. Sir on another topic, balik po sa SRP. Kasi there’s a suggestion by former DTI Undersecretary Vic Dimagiba, for DTI to expand iyong coverage ng SRP to other brands of basic goods. Kasi daw po ngayon, ilang brands lang ng basic goods ang sakop ng SRP; for example sa sardinas, if I could mention a brand, hindi daw sakop ng SRP iyong Ligo o Saba na kilalang masang brand din daw po.

SEC. LOPEZ: Oo. So we can study that, we can consider that. But you know as mentioned in that particular category, there are maybe 20 brands. You don’t have to cover all, as long as there are brands na may option si consumer bumili ng brand at available iyong mura na iyon, you’re—I mean, it’s good for the consumers already. But it doesn’t matter we can cover the others also, walang problema rin iyon. It’s just that ang purpose po ng ating paglalagay ng SRP – the consumers will always have the cheaper option – and to us, that’s more important.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Last na lang, sir. Sir could you respond, kasi doon sa… iyong naging monitoring din po ng group ni former Usec. Dimagiba, iyong grupong Laban Konsyumer, they monitored na, like for example sa sardinas sir, there’s a 3 to 11 percent increase daw po doon sa price ng sardinas and among other things. Sabi po niya, palagi daw pong sinasabi ng DTI na pasok sa SRP ang presyo ng mga mino-monitor na produkto, pero iyong DTI po mismo nag-a-adjust din po ng SRP.

SEC. LOPEZ: Oh… ito po iyong presyo at brand, iyong nakita natin. So nandiyan naman, pasok sa SRP po iyong ating ano—and there are no changes in the SRP. But ganito iyan eh, so puwede namang mag-increase ng SRP, basta i-inform din kami. We’re not saying naman na it will be forever this price ‘no.

So, basta within reason at saka again as we mentioned before also, if there are just maybe one brand filing for an increase, wala pong issue iyon because there are still other choices. It becomes an issue and wherein DTI will really look into the reason for price increase, kapag lahat ng brands sabay-sabay nag-increase. Parang… bakit, may usapan ba ito? We’ll have to be…ano ba ito, mayroon ba itong collusion.

So that’s the thing that we have to prevent. Pero kung paisa-isang brand, as mentioned earlier, hindi po iyan para maging cause of concern because as mentioned, ito po iyong last na lang gustong gawin.

KRIS CRISMUNDO/PNA: Hi sir, good afternoon. Kris Crismundo, from PNA. Sir, do we still see the need to implement pa iyong SRP on rice po? Hindi ba sabi ninyo dati na you’re looking at implementing SRP on rice. And then also with the depreciating peso po, are there new requests from the manufacturers na taasan pa po iyong mga presyo nila? And balik lang po doon sa SSB sir, sir have we seen the target impact on consumption for tobacco and SSB after the implementation of higher excise tax? Thank you.

SEC. LOPEZ: Okay. Na-miss ko iyong second. Pero on the rice, iyong SRP… we’ll have to check kung ano iyong maging movement nito, iyong behavior. Kung bumaba na below like a commercial—importante diyan iyong regular and well milled rice will be in the vicinity again of below 40 pesos. You know, bumalik iyan sa 38/39, then there may be no need to have an SRP there. Kasi kapag mayroon nang NFA rice na 27 pesos and 32 for regular and well milled respectively, may pressure na to bring down the prices. You can see commercial rice also behaving below 40 pesos. So kapag ganoon, no need na for an SRP if you ask me – of course, bahala si Secretary Piñol diyan.

The second is on…?

KRIS CRISMUNDO/PNA: Ah depreciating peso po sir, request from manufacturer…

SEC. LOPEZ: Ah kung may request? Wala sa akin. Ewan ko… Asec. Ness, may mga request ba, companies? Sa ngayon wala eh. Ang nag-request iyong—you know recently, may mga nagtaas ng SRP. I think Argentina brand specifically, Argentina brand and another brand – dalawang brand iyon na nag-increase because of tin plates, not because of TRAIN. Tin plates, iyong de lata, iyon iyong nag-increase sa world market. Parang iyong papel, remember tumaas din ang papel kaya iyong notebook nag-increase. So iyong mga major raw materials na iyon, kapag iyon ang nag-increase, iyon ang magre-request ng mga price increase. But—so ngayon, wala pang ibang nag-request after that.

The last question is… question sa impact. Ito ang nakakatawa dahil—hindi nakakatawa, nakakatuwa na iyong, like I think on softdrinks, kung tama iyong monitoring din ng DOF, I think iyong volume nila is somehow not that affected. In other words, kahit na tumaas ang presyo at may tax, marami pa ring bibili. For the first few months bumaba, pero I think pumi-pickup ulit – that shows na medyo in-elastic iyong demand for softdrinks. Ibig sabihin, hindi masyadong gumagalaw sa paggalaw ng presyo – na kapag tumaas ang presyo, babagsak.

So ngayon ang nakita po natin ay bumagsak sandali, I think one/two months pero nagpi-pickup ulit. So tatanungin ko kayo, kayo ba bumibili pa rin noong mga softdrinks? Hindi ba, so… that’ shows na talagang bumibili pa rin kayo.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Hi, sir. You described sir the increase in prices as minimal, pero as compared to last year, how do you describe the movement? Hindi ba siya biglaan?

SEC. LOPEZ: Parang… if you ask me, hindi naman. Saka very minimal nga eh iyong nakita natin, even on the inflation. In fact tumaas lang noong last two months hindi ba, 4.5/4.6. Before that, I think about 4.1/4.2 and 3.9, so gradual naman iyong increase. In fact, what we’re saying nag-plateau na, hindi na masyadong nag-increase – zero percent na iyong month-on-month. So, hindi naman po siya biglaan.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Hindi siya biglaan, pero parang iyong publiko umaaray sila. Sir, is it not an indicator na we are not so prepared for this?

SEC. LOPEZ: No, hindi po… hindi po sa ganoon. Kasi pinapakita ho natin iyong based on survey, and it shows naman… wala naman talagang nag-increase. We have to be careful din sa mga sinasabi po ng publiko na, there is what we call ‘default answer’. Kapag tinanong mo ang tao: “Tumataas ba ang presyo?” “Ay oho, tumataas ho. Ang laki-laki.” “‘Nasaan ho ba iyong binili ninyo?” Baka mamaya, wala naman siyang mapapakita.

But we’re not saying hindi tumaas hindi ba, pinakita nga natin may mga ilang produkto ang tumaas. But we’re saying is not a general increase, at if at all, lalo na kung agriculture products, so siguro iyong supply noong panahon na iyon naapektuhan, kaya iyong paninda doon sa palengke na iyon mas mataas kaysa sa paninda sa kabilang palengke – depende kasi iyan sa sinu-supply sa bawat palengke.

So ang sinasabi po natin, kapag nagtanong ho kasi tayo sa publiko, talaga naman hong madali sabihin, “Ay tumaas ho ang presyo.” Pero ho kung ibabase natin sa mga figures, ay mayroon naman hong nagsasabi talaga, base sa actual prices na generally stable, at mayroon namang produktong nagtaas nang kaunti – iyan po iyong reality.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir sa listahan ninyo po ng mga manufacturers, ilan po doon iyong nag-increase ng SRP?

SEC. LOPEZ: Iyon pong sa chart ko po kanina—

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Mga ilang porsiyento po doon?

SEC. LOPEZ: Dito po sa listahan ng basic necessity and prime commodities, wala hong nag-increase. Pero po kapag outside the basic necessity ang commodity, mayroon hong mga nag-increase – iyong hong cinite (cite) namin. So iyon po—but those are the non-essentials, iyon ho iyong sinasabi natin. Ang importanteng bantayan natin, iyong essential products… basic necessity po. Wala na tayong pakialam doon sa mga non-essentials. In fact tulad ng sigarilyo, ng softdrinks… binigyan pa nga ng excise tax. So we can expect prices really to go up.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir can you explain, kailan kailangang pumasok iyong DTI sa pag-i-intervene ng setting SRPs?

SEC. LOPEZ: Ah binanggit ko ho kanina na kapag sabay-sabay nag-increase ang isang sector, papasok ang DTI to check—to validate the cost structure, kung ano ang magiging source talaga. Is there a reason behind that request for price increase? Kapag sabay-sabay, pero kung isang brand lang ang nag-increase – bahala silang mag-increase, dahil iyong ibang brand mababa and people will simply gravitate towards that brand. It’s a competition po.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Kapag sabay-sabay, hindi i-a-approve?

SEC. LOPEZ: Oo. At saka hindi automatic i-a—ang sinasabi natin, hindi automatic na i-a-approve siya, kung hindi pag-aaralan ano talaga ang dapat na price increase noon. Because kung sabay-sabay sila, there must be a reason bakit… anong cost structure ang nagbago diyan; anong nag-increase na cost? So mag-i-increase po iyon, pero anong percent ang dapat. Tulad noong tin plates, noong nag-increase sila, nag-request ng increase… ni-request nila one to two pesos. But ang sinabi po ng DTI 50 centavos to one peso lang ang range dapat – at iyon naman iyong sinunod din nila.

So mayroon hong ganoong instances, na the DTI will influence them on ano iyong price increase kung… if it’s a general problem. But if it’s just a company specific problem, we don’t intervene. It’s a free market po, but we always assure consumers that prices will be reasonable and stable dahil—and there is competition. Ang importante po, rather than bantayan ang presyo, bantayan kung may competition doon sa industriya na iyon.

Go to the groceries, makita po ninyo ang de lata, ilang brands… naduduling kayo sa dami ng brands hindi ba? So ibig sabihin po, may competition diyan. Punta kayo sa beverages, again, ang daming brands. So iyan po ano iyan, iba-ibang positioning iyan, iba-iba ang presyo. So there will always be an option for consumers to select anong gusto niya. Even sometimes select not the cheapest one, but simply a brand that he likes/he or she likes because that’s brand preference eh. Willing siyang magbayad ng two pesos more, five pesos more… Even your phone, what is your phone? You’re willing to buy ten thousand more for a phone than the other phone hindi ba – that’s brand, branding.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Good morning, sir. Sir, sinabi ninyo kanina na tutol kayo doon sa wage hike. So, halimbawa po, ano po iyong puwede ninyong i-suggest na makakatulong po doon sa mga uring manggagawa? Kasi po iyong government sector, mayroon po silang commissary na nakakabili sila ng mas mababang halaga ng grocery items. Sa private sector, puwede po bang i-suggest ninyo na magkaroon sila ng halimbawang discount coupon, para sa manggagawa sa mga prime commodities po sa ilang malalaking groceries or supermarkets?

SEC. LOPEZ: So kung discount coupon, puwede ho naman pag-aralan. Ang problema lang naman diyan, sino ang sasagot noon, sino ang magbibigay noon, is it the company or are you suggesting government and magbibigay ng discount coupon?

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Oo, para pong isa-subsidize?

SEC. LOPEZ: Hindi na ho siguro kailangan, kasi mayroon naman po pinakita natin, na halos wala namang nag-increase dito sa presyo nga ng basic necessities. Ang importante ho, ako ang panawagan ko sa labor or kung sino mang sector, eh mag-cooperate tayo na gawing cooperative ba lahat iyong action natin, huwag nating takutin iyong investor para mas maraming pumasok na investor at ipakita nating may industrial peace, ang mga Pilipino willing magtrabaho, masipag, magagaling, gusto pang mag-training. Kasi iyon po ang importante eh, generation of jobs at mag-training tayo bawat isa. Para maging marketable tayo bawat isa, doon tataas ang suweldo natin. Kaysa humihingi tayo ng wage increase, lahat po tataas kung mayroon pong job generation priority and then skills training. And iyon po ang solution ng wage increase sa akin.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Ano po iyong maitutulong ng gobyerno, para makaagapay iyong mga manggagawa sa pagtaas ng singil sa kuryente, sa tubig at pasahe po?

SEC. LOPEZ: Siguro iyon po iyong unconditional cash transfer.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Sa working sector po?

SEC. LOPEZ: Sa working sector? Lumaki na po ang suweldo nila, kasi lower tax rate, lower tax rate nga ho, lumaki ang take home nila. A 21,000 o peso wage earner will generate 21,000 for the whole year out of savings. Parang may extra month bonus siya for the year. Iyon po ang computation na lumalabas kung 50,000 ang iyong kita, iyong net savings mo, iyong net take home mo, nag-increase ng 50,000 for the year.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So, ang tingin ninyo po sapat iyon?

SEC. LOPEZ: Opo.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL STAR: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, ano po ba ang role ng DTI sa pag-regulate naman ng presyo ng LPG, iyong sa pangluto sir, kasi medyo parang in the last two months, 30 to 50 pesos ang increase per 11 kilogram?

SEC. LOPEZ: DOE ho ang namamahala diyan at ang alam ko po ay affected din iyan ng mga paggalaw ng world oil prices, so beyond our control po iyon. Doon sa price monitoring what I remember is that, kerosene is going down hindi siya kasabay nung increases noong iba. So kerosene is also used sa pambahay di ba, pangluto, pero iyong LPG nga, kasabay din siya noong mga ibang oil products, but it’s beyond our countries control.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL STAR: Sir, kasi di ba, hindi lang siya sa mga stations, may mga parang stores na accredited dealers, hindi namo-monitor ng DTI to check on the prices?

SEC. LOPEZ: Oo, DOE iyan.

CELERINA MONTE/MLA SHIMBUN: Good afternoon, sir. Sir follow up ko lang iyong sa wage, iyong effect if ever. Do you have any simulation as to like how many jobs could be lost if nagkaroon ng medyo mataas na increase?

SEC. LOPEZ: I have not seen one yet. I’ll have to check with NEDA siguro, unless DOF has computation. So, that’s a good question. So we’ll have to work on that. But your correct in saying na iyon din ang problema sa nagwe-wage increase. Actually the impact is some employers will simply, sige magbawas tayo ng tao. So again jobs will be lost. Iyon yung tingnan din ng mga laborers, mabuti na noong may suweldo ngayon, na kung talagang kasya naman, ay pagandahin natin, gamitin natin, pero kung—kasi kung i-puwersa natin iyong malaking increase, baka naman mawalan, mabawasan ang employment.

CELERINA MONTE/MLA SHIMBUN: Sir, you have also mentioned that if there will be an increase, it should be minimal only. Like for instance in Metro Manila, since ito iyong kumbaga medyo mas mataas iyong suweldo compared sa other regions. What do you think, is that a minimal increase?

SEC. LOPEZ: We will leave it to the Regional Tripartite Wage Board. Kasi sila ang mag-aaral ng inflation at mga iba pang factors.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: Sir, clarify ko lang, sir. When you said, you are recommending to the public to buy in groceries po, since some of them sell their products at a lower price than SRP. Are you saying that consumer should stay away from wet markets in they want cheap food items po?

SEC. LOPEZ: Yes, kung tingin nilang siguradong mura sa grocery, doon sila pumunta. Of course kung fresh produce pagpilian nila saan mura. Minsan mura rin sa grocery kung volume ba iyong grocery na iyon, big account at mas malinis, kaya it’s a good competition between supermarkets and versus public market, talaga pong may competition iyan. So, ang tao mamili saan mas mura. Sigurado sa manufacture goods, mura sa groceries and supermarkets at dadagdagan pa, iyong DTI suking tindahan. Pero sa fresh goods mayroon din iyan sa grocery, sila na po ang mag-compare and that will be competition working, kasi I’m sure iyong mga supermarkets hindi rin nagpapahuli. In fact, when we talk to one, tumitingin din sila ng presyo sa palengke. They don’t want to be really different from the wet market. Kaya ho, that’s competition. Let them compete.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: Tapos sir, gaano po kababa iyong ibababa ng sugar price po pagdating ng importation, sir?

SEC. LOPEZ: Sandali, let them compete para it’s also a natural correcting mechanism. In other words, iyong public market hindi magtataas ng presyo kung alam niyang baka bumili na lang sa grocery and supermarket food section ito. So magbe-behave din ang public market pag ganoon, wet market.

Iyong question ninyo po gaano kababa, babalik po siguro doon sa normal price below 50 pesos per kilo. Well, nabasa ko rin sa news ito at saka iyong huling nag-report sa amin iyong 50 pesos per kilo naging 65. I think last two weeks ago. So, dapat bumaba siya below 50, kasi world market price bumaba eh.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUS. MIRROR: May date na po ba, sir kung kailan darating iyong importation?

SEC. LOPEZ: Ngayon pa lang na-approve po last Monday, I think,. So give it a month siguro para dumating iyong sugar.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUS. MIRROR: Tapos sir, last na po, iyong nakita ko po sa presentation ninyo na merong 80% price increase sa Tang po, so anong period po iyon, as of May this year?

SEC. LOPEZ: As of May, yeah compared to last year. I think that was compared to two months or three months ago. No, this is really compared to last year kasi nandiyan na iyong impact noong excise tax na talagang the government imposed that excise tax to discourage consumption.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUS. MIRROR: So, si President po, kaya po siya na-bother doon sa Tang kais nga may 80% price increase?

SEC. LOPEZ: No, no. Na-bother siya, okay na iyong excise tax, pero na-bother siya nung nalaman niya iyong health risk din if you continue to give mga Tang or other sugary products, high-sugar products to other people na without that warning na hindi mo alam high sugar pala iyong binibigay mo. So kailangan, ang sabi niya kailangan warning ang mga produkto na iyan para guided naman iyong bibili at iyong tatanggap. Para alam mo kung magte-thank you ka. Thank you, iyon pala high sugar pala iyon.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, now that the wage earning public generally has higher disposable income, is there a campaign po or drive from the government to educate the public on how they should spend or invest their money. Kasi I understand during the previous briefings nabanggit na po na mas marami ang pumupunta na lang sa mga fast food, instead of investing their money.

SEC. LOPEZ: Tama iyong restaurants nga tumaas iyong growth and that’s not bad also, with more money into the system, to the negosyo. It’s a larger consumer based that’s good for business. But of course we have to educate the people correctly na the other way if you want to be, of course wealthier, is to maging masinop. Iyong na-increase natin na out of savings from taxes ay pag-isipan din nating mag-ipon at mag-invest. So ang mga maraming puwedeng pag-invest-han; there is a wide array of investment choices. But the point is may savings ka at i-invest mo iyon para productive iyon. So, para hindi naman all into consumption.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So may effort, sir from the government to educate the public?

SEC. LOPEZ: Well, in our own little way – the DTI – we conducted sessions on entrepreneurship, kasama po doon the financial literacy on how to best manage your money as a business, as an SME, a micro entrepreneur, maging masinop para gamitin sa negosyo iyon. But maybe from the Finance or Treasury as they promote the bonds, may mage-educate to encourage more investment, kasi may immediate return iyon or hindi naman immediate return may regular return guaranteed by government na ranging from 3 to 5 % depende kay Asec. Tony, kung magkano ang ibibigay niya.

ROCKY IGNACIO/PTV4: Maraming salamat po sa ating mga bisita. Thank you, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. Thank you Malacañang Press Corps, next Wednesday muli tayo? Okay, maraming salamat po.

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Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)

 

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