The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has warned drugstores and other traders who are selling face mask at high prices to stop doing so.
DTI XI Assistant Regional Director Edwin Banquerigo is also urging the public to report sellers who are profiteering from face masks at the peak of the 2019-nCoV outbreak.
Banquerigo said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez ordered them, along with Department of Health (DOH), to closely monitor sellers of face masks and penalize those who go beyond the suggested retail price (SRP).
Although applicable to all vendors, Banquerigo clarified that they can only monitor the physical stores and it is difficult for them to track the online stores, where there is also an alleged overpricing of face masks.
That is why he is urging people to help the agency by being vigilant and report those who are profiteering so that they would be penalized.
Banquerigo added that there are several factors that could make face masks more expensive especially when they are not sold in primary stores such as pharmacies or they are from resellers, such as the payment for logistics or how the product was attained.
When people see a product that is pricey, it doesn’t always mean that they are overpricing, he said.
As of now, despite the alleged talks of overpricing, they haven’t apprehended any stores yet but if they receive any report, they will take action.