In time for the opening of school, the Department of Trade and Industry urges stores in the Philippines selling school supplies to sell their products within the Suggested Retail Prices (SRP).

The DTI recently published the price guide for school supplies in May 2018. The suggested retail price  (SRP) list covered different brands and corresponding prices of notebooks, pad paper, ballpens, crayons, erasers, rulers and sharpeners.

The DTI reminded sellers that school supplies like notebooks, pad paper, pencils, pens and crayons should have proper markings like brand name, trademark, number of pages for paper products, type, size and grammage of paper, and name and address of manufacturer or importer. Crayons must also have the marking “non-toxic” aside from the trade mark, brand name and manufacturer’s name.

For this year, several brands of notebooks and pad papers increased their prices due to the high cost of raw materials imported from China and the depreciation of Peso value against U.S dollar. However, prices of other school supplies remained stable.

The SRPs of some brands of composition, writing, and spiral notebooks (Advance, Topline, Best Buy, Pandayan, Papelikha, Orions, and Veco) increased by Php 1.00 to Php 4.00. Merit, on the other did not increase their prices. Composition and writing notebooks are still priced at Php 12.75 (without plastic cover) and Php 34.00 (with plastic cover) while their spiral notebook without plastic cover is still priced at Php 19.00.

Similarly, some brands of writing pad papers (grade 1-4) (Easywrite, Best Buy, Sakura, Pandayan, Papelikha, and Orions) increased by Php 0.50 to Php 6.00) while for intermediate paper, some brands (Easy write, Best, Best Buy (book paper), Pandayan, Papellikha and Orions) raised their prices by Php 1.75 to Php 5.00.

Despite these increases, Merit’s writing and intermediate pads are still at Php 12.00 and Php 25.00, respectively. Likewise, Best Buy’s intermediate (bond paper) pad paper is still priced at Php 18.00.

Meanwhile, two brands of pencil (Best buy and Pandayan) recorded an increase of Php 4.50 and Php 1.00, respectively, while the other brands maintained their last year’s prices.

Generally, some brands of ball pens did not increase their prices since last year except for Marvy, Avanti, and Pentel which recorded an increase by Php 1.00 to Php 6.00.

For crayons, HBW Jumbo No. 8 decreased its price by Php 11.00 while other brands (Crayola, Li’l hands, Faber Castell, HBW, Best Buy and Pandayan) did not change their prices since last year. However, brands such as Sterling and Colleen increased their prices by Php 2.00 to Php 10.00 for boxes of Regular No. 8, Regular No. 16, and Regular No. 24 and Jumbo 8.

There were no recorded price movements for sharpener while one brand of eraser (Orions) increased by Php 2.00. For ruler, Orions increased by Php 3.00 while Php 2.00 for Sterling.

“There have been increases in some staples but consumers can check for school items sold in bundle or promo packs which can help them save Php 30.75 depending on the brand,” says Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo.

She also added that based on their discussions with paper manufacturers, there will be no more price increases until December 2018.

The Gabay sa Pamimili ng School Supplies is already posted on the DTI’s e-Presyo, which can be accessed throughwww.e-presyo.dti.gov.ph or view the price guide by clicking on the following link: https://dti.gov.ph/media/advisories/11985-gabay-school-supplies-srp.

The DTI intensifies its monitoring activities to ensure that prices of school supplies are stable. The Department will also post the price guide in establishments and stores in the regions and provinces.

Also, the DTI advises the consumers to choose well according to their needs.


The Department of Trade and Industry Cebu Provincial Office (DTI Cebu), in coordination with the Cebu Technological University (CTU), will soon launch a “Food Innovation Center” in Tuburan and Daanbantayan, Cebu.

The center is meant to provide micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) a facility to improve food production/ processing and develop new ideas for businesses within the area as well as neighboring towns.

DTI will provide the equipment for the food centers through the department’s Shared Service Facilities (SSF) program. The equipment will be housed at the CTU campus.

The CTU Tuburan Food Innovation Center will be launched next month, while the center at the CTU Daanbantayan is tentatively scheduled in the third quarter of the year.

The SSF project goal is to enable MSMEs to increase their productivity; accelerate MSMEs competitiveness by giving them access to energy efficient technologies and more sophisticated equipment; encourage the graduation of MSMEs to the next level where they could tap a better and wider market share and be integrated in the global supply chain; and address the gaps and bottlenecks in the value chain of priority industry clusters.

MSME development is a key strategy to achieve the government’s goal of inclusive growth and jobs generation. The development aims to improve the competitiveness of MSMEs by providing them with machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge under a shared system.

DTI’s Philippine Trade Training Center:  the Philippines’ Global MSME Academy

29 May 2018 – The Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) takes a leap as it embraces its new role as the Philippines’ Global MSME Academy, by virtue of a Department Order (DO) issued and signed by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez on April 18, 2018.

The order designates PTTC as a Center dedicated to the administration, development and conduct of trade-related training and management of facilities to support the requirements of globalizing industries and services most especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).  Bureaus and offices within the DTI and all its attached agencies are enjoined to integrate their MSME-related training programs and projects with PTTC.

Fully dedicated to this commitment, PTTC created Strategic Business Units (SBUs) and customized its programs on three major industries – processed food, services, and consumer goods, and categorized by MSME levels – foundation, intermediate and advanced courses. From the foundation courses on business management, finance and marketing, and production management, each SBU has a focused training pathway with specialized course modules to address expansion in the domestic market and lead MSMEs to gain access to market compliance and internationalization.

PTTC also aligns its Entrepreneurship training programs for the youth, women and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in tandem with other institutions providing capacity-building programs for these focused sectors.

“MSMEs need to be inspired then nurtured to cope with the ever-changing environment, where survival somehow depends on knowledge, skills and attitude. Partnerships and collaboration with international content providers as well as homegrown experts shall be maximized to enable PTTC to address a wider range of training needs of MSMEs,” said PTTC Executive Director   Nestor P. Palabyab.

Local partners include The Philippine MICE Academy, The Philippine Center on Entrepreneurship Go Negosyo, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation Inc., World Trade Center, and Center for Future Leadership while International partner institutions are Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), International Trade Center (ITC) Geneva, Switzerland, Association of Overseas Technical Scholarship (Japan), Leipzig University, Germany’s Hinrich Foundation, and British Council of the Philippines.

Apart from these partnerships, PTTC also collaborates with e-learning institutions such as the ITC-SME Trade Academy, ASEAN SME Academy, and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Academy for online training courses in finance, human resource, marketing, trade and logistics, management, operations and technology.

New training programs, including regional programs, are also offered by the Center such as the recently launched Food Connect Program, designed to create an alternative environment for experiential learning for food manufacturers. Activities include:

  1. Food Talks or briefings on International Labeling Requirements of Major Importing Countries such as USA, China, Japan and UAE;
  2. Mentoring and consultative sessions by key industry practitioners providing practical, innovative tips on processes that can be adopted by MSMEs in food safety, shelf life, food processing technology and innovation, basic labeling requirements, process and product assessment;
  3. Awareness on the regulatory compliance of Food and Drugs Administration- License to Operate/Certificate of Product Registration (FDA-LTO/CPR), HALAL, and International Food Standards;

Likewise, undergoing major improvements are the Center’s training facilities. The Food Connect Hub is available for activities related to the Food Connect Program, with working spaces available for small group gathering, networking and negotiations. Food Lab, is dedicated for food testing such as Water Activity, Water and pH Content and Metal Detector, intended for initial assessment of food properties for third party laboratory testing; and finally, the DigiFab Training Facility for product packaging prototyping, and the Creative Hub which gathers the young creative entrepreneurs to hone their skills and talents.

As the trade training arm of DTI, mandated under the Administrative Code of 1987 and Executive Order No. 133, Series of 1987, PTTC’s mission is to provide stakeholders with high quality and relevant training programs at par with the best in the world, that transform Philippine MSMEs into global business entrepreneurs.

Business conference showcases Central Luzon, Pampanga’s progress



BIZCON. Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry executives join former president and Pampanga second district Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for a photo opportunity, after her keynote speech at the 27th North Luzon Area Business Conference held at the LausGroup Event Center. (Erika Mariel Gines Photo)


“This area business conference is a testament that indeed, Central Luzon and the province of Pampanga in general, is becoming the center of growth not only in the region but of the whole country.”


This was the statement of Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PamCham) vice chairman Rene Romero during the culminating ceremony of the 27th North Luzon Area Business Conference (NLABC) held Friday, May 18, at the LausGroup Event Center in the City of San Fernando.


He noted that the three-day event proved to be “one of the most successful” area business conference of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), as it gathered over 600 delegates coming from all over North Luzon.


“We are really very happy with the outcome of our event, as modesty aside, while it is our first time hosting this conference, we have come up with the biggest and most organized NLABC I have seen for the last 30 years that I have been part of the chamber movement,” he relayed.


He added that the positive feedback of the participants proved that event was able to showcase the latest developments in Pampanga which include state-of-the-art facilities, infrastructure, and the province’s renowned hospitality sector, further centering the province’s status as a major economic destination.


“In fact, delegates coming Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), all expressed their awe upon seeing our province’s progress. They said they were impressed of Pampanga’s recent developments including the LausGroup Event Center, our main roads like the Jose Abad Santos Avenue and the McArthur Highway, business districts, the Clark Freeport Zone, and even the hotels and malls including the newly-opened SM City Telabastagan,” he shared.


“This goes to show that we are now experiencing the spill over of Metro Manila and big players are now eyeing us as their next prospect. The NLABC is one of our way of preparing for this forthcoming economic boom,” he added.


The executive then relayed that the business organization will continue to hold on to the claim that “This is our time,” this year’s theme for the 27th NLABC.


“This is just the start, and for a very long time and through the generations to come, we will not stop or plateau. It will be a continuous process,” he concluded.


The prestigious business conference, organized annually by PCCI, aimed to inform, inspire, and motivate businesses to spur countryside economic growth in Central and North Luzon regions.


This year, highlights of the event include plenary sessions led by world-renowned businessman and AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, top Filipino economist Dr. Bernie M. Villegas, and Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary for Planning and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Dr. Maria Catalina E. Cabral, among others.


The event was keynoted by former President and Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who shared the government’s plans and activities currently in the pipeline for the years ahead, demonstrating a strong focus on transforming the province as a ‘Megalopolis’.


Also part of the programs and activities were various seminars, business matchings, networking sessions, invitational golf tournament, and a mini regional trade fair.


Read more: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1744035/Pampanga/Local-News/Business-conference-showcases-Central-Luzon-Pampangas-progress

PH, US open discussions to strengthen trade and investment ties, exploratory talks on possible FTA

Makati—Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez met with Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR) Jeffrey D. Gerrish and his delegation to further trade and investment ties and continue with the exploratory discussions for a possible free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines (PH) and the United States (US). The two countries agreed that an FTA would be a win for both countries, as both acknowledge there are already opportunities under the current Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) that both teams can work on to facilitate immediately more trade.

This follows the meeting of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and U.S. President Donald Trump during the 2017 ASEAN Summit and the statement of USTR Robert Lighthizer, acknowledging the need to strengthen bilateral relations with countries in the Asia Pacific, including PH during a Congressional hearing last March.

“We are looking forward to exploring a free trade agreement with the U.S. Meanwhile, we can simultaneously pursue low-hanging opportunities like the existing TIFA and the privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) of the U.S.,” said Trade Secretary Lopez.

Deputy USTR Gerrish said that “President Trump has made clear his commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, and the United States values our very important trade relationship with the Philippines,” and that “greater engagement on trade and investment will benefit both countries.”

PH currently enjoys preferential duty-free entry to the US through its GSP scheme. In 2017, GSP exports accounts for 17.6% of PH exports to the US, valued at US$ 1.492 billion. Leading GSP exports include tires, sugar, electronics, and fruit and vegetable juices. The GSP was also recently renewed to be effective for three years, instead of the annual review.

The renewed GSP also extended the duty-free treatment to travel goods such as suitcases; vanity and attaché cases; handbags; backpacks; travel, sports and similar bags and cases. The DTI wishes to use this momentum to add footwear to the GSP list. This, in turn, will promote Filipino-made shoes and to encourage foreign shoe manufacturers to locate in the Philippines.

DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo likewise pointed out that under the current TIFA, both side are working on addressing policies and rules that can facilitate at once the flow of goods between the two countries, such as those governing import valuation mechanism, and clarification on tariff application on certain goods.

DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado also noted the PH creative industry is benefitting from being excluded from the USTR Special 301 Watch List, a list of countries with deficient intellectual property protections, for the 5th straight year. Usec. Terrado also said that the DTI is planning a trade roadshow in the US to promote PH products.


The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the country’s lead investments promotion agency, recorded a Php195.7 billion worth of investment approvals for the January to April 2018 period, an increase of 28 percent compared to the same period last year where it posted Php153.1 billion.

“The strong macroeconomic fundamentals and the continuous policy reforms sustained the increase of investments in the country,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez said.

“The additional projects registered in April maybe moderate but over the coming months we express confidence more investors will continue to come in and make up for the shortfall. We also expect that Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) will pick-up as its outlook is always long-term which will generate more jobs and business opportunities,” Secretary Lopez said.

Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo elaborated that the bulk of the investment projects for the month of April came from the six air transport projects of Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) with a combined investment amount of Php19.05 billion while the biggest single project approved was the Php5.2 billion project of MWM Terminals, Inc., a  public-private partnership (PPP) known as the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange in Coastal Road.

“These six projects by PAL alone indicate there is strong passenger traffic demand and once operational, it will re-energize the tourism industry especially when Boracay reopens before the end of the year,” Undersecretary Rodolfo said.

The renewable energy/power sector remained as the number one source of investments with Php104.3 billion in the first four months of 2018, up 401 percent from last year’s Php20.8 billion in the same period. This was followed by the transportation and storage sector which generated PHp37.5 billion, up by a remarkable 1566 percent from Php2.25 billion in the same period last year. Manufacturing investment projects meanwhile reached Php15.9 billion, a three percent uptick from last year’s Php15.4 billion in the same frame. The water supply, sewerage and waste management Sector (Php13.9 billion) and Real Estate Category (Php12.7 billion) on the otherhand rounded up the top five sectors.

Countryside investments continue to dominate the figures from January to April with an aggregate Php165.5 billion, or 84.6 percent of the total investment pie with the National Capital Region (NCR), accounting for the remaining 15.6 percent share.  Overall, Central Luzon (Region III) continues to be the frontrunner among all regions with Php77.4 billion in investments approvals, up 501 percent from last year’s Php12.9 billion during the four-month frame. Calabazon (Region IVA) is runner-up with Php52.8 billion. NCR is third with Davao Region (Region XI) and Western Visayas (Region VI) completing the top five with Php14.1 billion and Php3.5 billion, respectively.