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The Philippines’ DTI Revamps Online Price Monitoring System

Image credits: www.gov.ph

The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that it is enhancing “e-Presyo,” the agency’s online price monitoring system that was created in 2015, The e-Presyo is a repository of all prevailing prices of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) that are being monitored by the DTI nationwide. It allows consumers to access the system and check stores selling products that are lower than the suggested retail prices (SRPs).

With the constant advancement of technology, the DTI said it is targeting to optimise the collecting, processing, and storing of real-time prices/inventory of BNPCs within the new Supply Chain Analytics (SCAn) System. To further enhance the e-Presyo, the DTI partnered with the University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation, Inc. (UPPAF), a grantee of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The enhancement of e-Presyo will be commenced in two phases.  Phase 1 was completed last March 30 that transferred the BNPCs’ SRPs to the SCAn Application while Phase 2 will focus on the complete migration of the agency’s data and programming of the enhanced features of the system. The DTI is set to meet with its stakeholders on the enhancements to update them on the changes and improvements of the said system, said the DTI’s Consumer Protection Group.

Amid the ongoing enhancement of e-Presyo, DTI reminded the public and business establishments to regularly check the prevailing prices or price freeze of the basic necessities through the e-Presyo page particularly the Price Freeze tab.

The DTI has continued its digital transformation by incorporating online marketing and e-commerce in its training and seminars for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as part of the preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

The agency said that they are preparing the MSMEs for the 4IR with the help or initiative of the government from the national down to the local level, said the DTI-Pangasinan Director. The Director added that the agency is focused on information dissemination and preparation of concepts or conceptualisation on how 4IR will affect the MSMEs.

It encourages MSMEs to adapt to the changes. There is the need to upgrade skills and upgrade knowledge as part of adoption to it, the DTI added. The agency said most of the MSMEs now have their cell phones as means of transactions and communications with their clients, and they are also urged to use their social media accounts in marketing their products.

For micro businesses, they are still very small so having their website is not yet advisable but instead, their social media accounts could be their marketing tool, advised the DTI. They further said that telecommunication and internet services in the country, especially in rural areas where there are also MSMEs, remain a challenge to digitalisation.

Along with the promotion of 4IR should be provisions and logistics for MSMEs like the internet connectivity, stability of electric power because if the power is unstable, it will also affect their production. MSMEs need the support of the government, businesses and the people as well. The government is doing its best to adapt especially during the new normal brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the 2019 Export Congress, the President and Chief Executive Officer of a Business Analytics and Strategy company stated that the MSMEs in the Philippines need a lot of help in terms of digitalisation. MSMEs, he said, comprise 65% of employment in the country.

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