- The price of N95 face masks have ridiculously skyrocketed in Manila, Philippines.
- Demand for the said mask has gone up in the country following Taal Volcano’s eruption.
- Government officials have assured the public that appropriate action will be taken against the enterprising merchants.
Here’s a sad fact: sometimes crisis brings out the worst side of humans. This has been proven once again in Manila, Philippines when several sellers sparked online outrage for selling N95 face masks for almost 10 times its original price after Mount Taal started spewing massive amounts of ash.
Demand for N95 face masks have risen tremendously the past few days as health officials have advised residents of Calabarzon, Central Luzon, and Metro Manila to wear the said apparatus for protection against volcanic ash. Unfortunately, greedy merchants saw this an opportunity to make more money. Now the city government is after them!
Sellers of overpriced respirator masks will be held accountable, authorities warned.
According to reports, N95 filter masks are regularly sold at Php 25 to Php 30 (US$0.49 to $0.59) each but price went up as high as Php 200 to Php 300 ($3.95 to $5.92) when more people started buying this week.
Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna has since assured the public that they will be conducting investigations to make sure that businesses who overpriced their masks will be punished by the law.
Many stores have ran out of both N95 and surgical masks.
In a recent statement, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also said they will not think twice about filing “administrative and criminal charges against unscrupulous business entities and individuals who capitalize on the consumers’ urgent need for their own profit.”
President Duterte is not happy about the hoarders.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told the media that the government will be giving away assistance and free masks for those who cannot afford them.
Duterte also threatened hoarders that he will be “forced to order the raid of their stores,” if they will not stop the practice, he said in an interview.
Meanwhile, here’s a Syrian vlogger giving away free face masks for Manila residents:
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