Stores found manipulating prices of N95 masks may face revocation of permits, P2-M penalty

  • Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced that he wants the businesses, which allegedly manipulated the price of N95 masks, to explain
  • The mayor said he would be issuing show-cause orders against these establishments, firms
  • The DTI has also filed cases over various businesses for increasing the price of N95 face masks during the height of ashfall in Manila

Manila-based firms which allegedly imposed a price hike on N95 face masks during the height of ashfall from the Taal Volcano may face penalty, or worse, revocation of permits, Manila’s top executive warned.

Image by Manila Public Information Office via Twitter

Following a meeting with officials, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced that he wants these businesses to explain about imposing a higher price on the in-demand medical supply. Failure to explain, he added, would cause them their business permits.

As ashes from Taal Volcano in Batangas reached its neighboring towns and cities up to Manila, the demand for N95 face masks, the most ideal equipment that can protect someone from volcanic ashes, soared that it even prompted panic buying. Some businesses, according to the public, took advantage of the situation and increased the price of the medical item which should only cost P45 to P105.

“Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno says he will issue show cause orders versus medical suppliers accused of jacking up prices of N95 face masks,” the city’s public information announced on its social media accounts last January 13.

Image via Philippine Coast Guard

“The Mayor says if they fail to explain themselves, their permits may be revoked for profiteering from a calamity,” it added.

This was seconded by the Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ruth Castelo during a press briefing at the Malacanang on January 15; saying they have filed charges against a number of establishments for profiteering.

“After the notice of violation we will issue formal charges against them. Bahala silang magdepensa nung kaso nila during the hearing,” Castelo said.

If found committing profiteering, a penalty raging from P5,000 to P2 million could be imposed.