Fresh face mask supplies coming, trade chief says


Posted at Jan 27 2020 11:53 AM | Updated as of Jan 27 2020 12:14 PM

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MANILA – More supplies of surgical and N95 masks are coming, a cabinet official said Monday, allaying fears of a shortage due to demand driven by the Taal Volcano eruption and the coronavirus scare.

Some 2 million surgical masks and about 100,000 to 200,000 N95 are masks coming in, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told DZMM, as he warned against profiteering.

"May parating pa sila, kaya ko sinasabi ang supply para masabi na hindi ho magsho-shortage, may parating na… In terms of supply meron ho tapos ang commitment po nila manufacturer…na hindi rin magbabago ng presyo," Lopez said.

(There is supply coming. I'm saying this so we can say that there won't be a shortage, there is supply coming. And the commitment is that they won't change the price)

The 3 biggest drugstores in the country also committed to keep prices stable, Lopez said.

Mask supply comes from a local manufacturer and sources abroad including Vietnam but not China, Lopez said.

At least 18 charges have been filed at the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI’s) Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau for overpricing face masks. If proven guilty, businesses or individuals may face fines of up to P300,000, Lopez said.