CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has coordinated with local face masks providers to augment the supply in the market.
This came after the monitoring conducted by DTI provincial offices in Central Luzon showed that major sellers of emergency medical supplies in the region are running out of stock of face masks.
According to the DTI Central Luzon, the department was able to get the partial supply of N-88 masks from MedTecs, the lone local manufacturer from Bataan.
With the assistance of the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), DTI procured 125,000 pieces of N-88 masks, wherein 70,000 pieces were delivered and immediately donated to the Department of Health and DTI regional offices and attached agencies, it added.
In a statement, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the next batch of deliveries will make available 80,000 pieces which will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in coordination with PRC Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon.
The PRC, in turn, shall distribute the masks to more than 100 Red Cross offices nationwide.
To further augment the supply, Medtecs committed to double their production, enabling them to provide 400,000 pieces of masks weekly.
Among these, 200,000 pieces will go to the Department of Health (DOH) and 100,000 to Red Cross and other government agencies.
Meanwhile, 100,000 pieces will be allocated to private retailers Mercury Drug and Southstar Drug for distribution nationwide.
Based on the DOH Department Memorandum 2020-058, a price freeze was imposed on emergency medical supplies such as N-95 and N-88 face masks.
For N-95 masks, the price is pegged between P45 to P105 while N-88 face masks are pegged at P1.10 to P8.
The public is reminded to get in touch with the DOH or the DTI in case there are issues of hoarding or illegal price manipulation as prohibited under Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act.