MANILA - The Department of Health on Tuesday ordered a price freeze on face masks, nebulizers, and other medicine in areas affected by Taal Volcano's eruption.
Among the items under the price cap order are paracetamols, antihistamines, antibiotics, dextrose fluids and disposable face masks, which price reportedly surged after Filipinos raced to gear up against the Taal's sulfuric ash.
"Essential medicines have been identified as a basic necessity especially in times of natural calamities and man-made disasters that put the health and lives of Filipinos at risk because of unfavorable conditions that cause or aggravate disease which may lead to epidemics or massive deaths," the memorandum signed by Health Sec. Francisco Duque III read.
"Unless otherwise lifted by the President, it shall remain in effect for the duration of the situation," it said.
Face mask prices in the capital city increased by nearly 10 fold to P200, Manila vice mayor and doctor Honey Lacuna earlier said.
Health officials advised the public to make use of wet towels, bras or diapers in lieu of face masks should the protective gear be unavailable in their areas.
- report from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News