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Face mask prices jumps 8 times amid fears over Taal volcano

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | January 13, 2020
The Trade Department and the Manila government have warned vendors not to incrse the price of face masks after an eruption of the Taal Volcano.
Manila face masks
Crisis in Asia   Manila face masks
Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan said in a statement that she will be looking into reports that prices of N95-grade masks, the type recommended by the government, have spiked. According to Lacuna-Pangan, the masks are now being sold for PHP200 apiece (about $4), up from their original price of PHP25 ($0.50). She also added that unscrupulous individuals have been buying the masks in bulk in order to resell them at a mark-up.

Topics: Mask Taal volcano

“Let’s not use this time to take advantage [of people],” the vice mayor said in Filipino, adding that businesses shouldn’t put people’s health on the line for profit. “I don’t want to see asthmatic patients being rushed to the hospital just because they can’t buy masks.”

Lacuna-Pangan added that she was tasking the Manila Bureau of Permits and the Manila Licenses Office with inspecting businesses selling N95-grade masks.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) likewise said in a statement today that they have dispatched teams to monitor masks’ retail prices in the market.

“Those found to have unreasonably increased their prices for gas masks, face masks and other similar items, which act is tantamount to profiteering, shall be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law,” the statement reads.