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San Fernando City, La Union- The Department of Trade and Industry Region 1 conducted monitoring of supply and prices of face masks, alcohol and other medical supplies as demand for these products continue to surge due to the public’s fear of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

DTI has been closely monitoring the supply and prices particularly of N-88 surgical mask, 70% ethyl alcohol, sanitized gloves and nebular kit.

Zaldy Zafra, officer-in-charge of the Consumer Protection Division led the Regional Office monitoring team on February 3, 2020. Areas covered were major drugstores and pharmacies in San Fernando City, San Juan and Bacnotan, La Union. CPD Teams of the Provincial Offices also conducted their respective monitoring.

Prices of ordinary face masks remained within the prescribed price range of Php3.00 to Php8.00 pesos per piece, while N95 mask may be bought at Php50.00 to Php100.00. However, majority of the establishments that were monitored already ran out of stocks. Other medical supplies included in the monitoring list were available but becoming limited as demand continues. Reorders to beef-up these medical supplies were already made by the establishments but pending delivery and subject to availability from their suppliers.

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Meanwhile, DTI has been closely working with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to intensify its prices and supply monitoring activities and ensure that masks are sold within the price range set by the DOH.

In an earlier statement of Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, he advised the retailers of these medical supplies to not take advantage of the situation. He assured the public that offenders will be dealt with the fullest extent of the law.

DTI urged the public to be vigilant and avoid panic-buying of basic supplies and commodities. Consumers are enjoined to report to the DTI all retailers and suppliers selling overpriced masks by reporting it to the nearest DTI Provincial Office or calling the One-DTI (1-384) Hotline or by sending an email to♦

Date of Release: 4 February 2020