Imagine if there’s an app that will help you check and compare the price of basic commodities in the market before you even head out to shop. Well, guess what? Now there is!
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has just released a new app that will help palengke shoppers get more bang for their buck. The app, called Presyo sa Palengke Mobile Application (PPMA), is now available for download.
We’ve already tried it for ourselves. Here’s what we think of the app so far.
More open Philippines
In 2011, the Philippines, along with seven other countries, declared their commitment to the Open Government Partnership. The agreement aims to make government more transparent in providing information to the public through new platforms.
According to the World Bank, only 13 percent of datasets from the government are open to the public. This is what the coalition is trying to address.
To show that it means business in terms of transparency, the government launched two platforms, namely the Open Data Portal and the PPMA. While the former has already been in the works for quite some time now, the market app is still in its infancy and has a long way to go.
The mobile app has a pretty basic feature: it aims to let users know the retail price of common goods in the market with a few taps.
Currently, PPMA covers 34 commodities from 11 major markets in Metro Manila. The PSA said they will upgrade the app to cover more commodities and include prices from other markets in the future. (As of this writing, the app is only available on Android. iOS and Windows 10 versions will be released soon.)
Once you’ve successfully installed the app, make sure that you have an internet and GPS connection. Once you got past through the loading screen, you’ll be greeted by two choices, namely the “Price by Market” and the “Price by Commodity” options.
Clicking on the former will take you to a selection of 11 different markets in Metro Manila. As of the moment, the markets with available data are the following:
- Malabon Public Market
- Novaliches Market
- Marikina Public Market
- Pasig Mega Market
- Farmers Market
- Blumentritt Market
- Quinta Market
- Pasay Market
- New Muntinlupa Market
- Guadalupe Market
Aside from the following markets, an 11th option that gets the average prices of goods in Metro Manila is also available.
Once you’ve clicked on a specific market, you’ll be able to see the price of basic commodities, compare today’s price with historical rates, and get directions to the selected market from where you are using the map.
Meanwhile, clicking on “Price by Commodity” will take you to the main categories of market commodities. The main commodities along with items under them are the following:
- Rice, Special
- Rice, Premium
- Well-Milled Rice
- Regular-Milled Rice
- Alumahan (Indian mackerel)
- Bangus (milkfish)
- Galunggong (round scad)
Meat and poultry
- Beef Rump
- Beef Brisket
- Pork Ham / Kasim
- Pork Liempo
- Chicken Egg (foreign breed)
- Chicken, Broiler (fully dressed)
- Ampalaya (bitter gourd)
- Tomato, Ripe
- Pechay, Native
Beans and legumes
- String Beans
- Root Crops
- Banana, Lakatan, Ripe
- Banana, Latundan, Ripe
- Mango, Carabao, Ripe
- Papaya, Hawaiian
Other basic commodities
- Refined Sugar
- Washed Sugar
- Brown Sugar (Raw)
- Cooking Oil, Lapad
- Cooking Oil, Longneck
Clicking on one item on the list of commodities will bring you to the price of items per kilogram for all available markets, except for the eggs in pesos per piece and cooking oil in pesos per bottle. In addition, you can also check the movement of prices for a year on the Trend section.
Finally, clicking on the app’s menu will show you the About section, Users’ Guide, Metadata (details on how they get the prices of goods on the market), Commodity Specs (measurement of products used), and Feedback.
So is the app worth downloading? While the PPMA is certainly useful in comparing prices from different markets, it still has limited functionality.
If you’re living in a place in Metro Manila that is far from the biggest markets, you won’t see the price of goods in your area.
In addition, there still are lots of items missing from the menu, while covering the basic items is good enough for the app’s initial release.
In terms of ease of use, the PPMA is intuitive enough that even your least tech-savvy family members can understand how it works without going through the user manual.
The PPMA is a great tool for price-conscious shoppers to check the prices of goods before you even step out of your home. By doing this, you can make informed choices in picking which products to get at a cheaper rate and where to shop for maximum savings. Eventually, more markets covered as well as addition of more commodities on the list will greatly benefit the public in this technologically advanced era.