THE Department of Trade and Industry in Davao Region (DTI-Davao) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA-Davao) have started monitoring the price of face shields being sold in the Davao Region.
DTI-Davao regional director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi told SunStar Davao in an interview on Thursday, August 13, 2020, that they have started the monitoring with FDA-Davao on Monday, August 10, 2020.
She said FDA is the agency that has regulatory functions over face shields. However, due to the lack of manpower, FDA is working together with other agencies like DTI and Philippine National Police, including the National Bureau of Investigation in the monitoring of face shields.
Following the memorandum of the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board on the mandatory wearing of face shields for passengers, conductors and drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs), there has been a spike in the demand for the use of face shields.
It was also on Monday when the Department of Health (DOH) issued Department Memorandum (DM) 2020-0345, which provides sellers and consumers information on the suggested retail price (SRP) of face shields.
According to DM 2020-0345, a non-medical grade face shield for community use has an SRP of P26 to P55. Specifications of the face shield are: clear plastic or acetate material, provides good visibility, fog resistant, adjustable band to attach firmly around the head, fits snuggly against the forehead, full face coverage, made of robust material that can be easily cleaned and disinfected and is either disposable or reusable.
The memorandum adds that “a 10 percent allowable variation to the SRP may be added to account for the distribution cost for the Visayas and Mindanao.”
Meanwhile, following the monitoring of DTI-Davao and FDA-Davao, they discovered that the price of face shields in the region have varying prices depending on its kind and quality. Price also differs between wholesale and retail.
The cheapest type available in the region is a face shield with clear plastic or acetate material, with garter and foam. This type of face shield has a wholesale price of P25 to P35 and a retail price of P40 to P50, which are within range of the SRP specified under DM 2020-0345.
A locally produced face shield with a plastic eyeglasses frame has a retail price of P55 to P70. Meanwhile, a manufactured face shield with a plastic eyeglass frame has a wholesale price of P45 to P55 and a retail price of P65 to P70.
These face shields are mostly sourced from the National Capital Region through online transactions. DTI-Davao noted that the supply of these face shields is abundant along the sidewalks.
The most expensive type of face shield available in the Davao market is the one that has a bucket hat with a detachable face shield. It is available at one of the large malls in the city and has a retail price of P199 to P250.
Meanwhile, Ambi said though they have heard of complaints coming from consumers, they have not received any formal complaints yet at the office.
“Kung mag file pud na sila sa amoa, didto ra sad namo iforward sa FDA (If they file a complaint with us, we will forward it to FDA),” Ambi said.