THE Integrated Philippine Association of Optometry (Ipaoo)-Davao Chapter urged those who illegally sell eyeglasses in the city to stop operating as they put the public's health at risk.
In an interview with Ipaoo-Davao Chapter President Doctor Jovina Sandra Tom during the celebration of World's Sight Day on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at Almendras Gym, she said the illegal selling of graded eyeglasses has become rampant especially in barangays.
Tom said most of these illegal sellers are barangay-based and are usually changing their locations to avoid themselves from being apprehended or monitored by the local government and other related-agencies.
Some of the illegal eyeglass sellers, she added, are also conducting eye consultations even when they are not optometrists.
"Engaging in unlawful practice of optometry is prohibited and shall be penalized with at least eight years imprisonment and a fine not more than P40,000," Tom said.
The patients who bought eyeglasses from these illegal sellers are at risk of worsening their eyesight as the lenses used may not have the appropriate grade required for them.
She said Ipaoo-Davao Chapter already had dialogues with the local government of Davao City and Department of Health (DOH)-Davao on the plan to conduct free eye consultations and giving of eyeglasses for every barangay in the city.
The plan, Tom said, will help in keeping the public from patronizing illegal eyeglass sellers.
"We cannot deny that purchasing of eyeglasses and consultation are both costly so some of us would settle with those illegal sellers as they provide cheaper prices," she said.
Ipaoo-Davao Chapter also reminds the public to be cautious as to who they consult with and who they purchase their eyeglasses from, adding that they should go to authorized eye clinics such as those inside hospitals.