Senators warn on selling of overpriced face masks

SENATORS Koko Pimentel and Grace Poe yesterday condemned retailers who  reportedly jacked up the prices of face masks  after Taal Volcano spewed ash Sunday afternoon.

“We should not allow anybody to take advantage of the current difficult situation brought about by the Taal Volcano eruption by increasing the price of needed goods and materials (like face masks),”  Pimentel said.

“Abuses such as these, which are violations of The Price Act, can be directly reported to my office,” added Pimentel, chair of the Senate Trade Committee.

Poe also hit the increased prices of face masks and called on Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to act against abusive retailers.

“Ngayon na may kalamidad, huwag dapat maging mapagsamantala, sa halip nga, ay dapat umiral ang kabayanihan tulad ng ginagawa rin ng marami nating kababayan,” Poe, head of the Senate Public Services Committee, told reporters.

“Siguro dapat bantayan ng DTI ang presyo ng mga bilihin na kailangan ng ating mga kababayan ngayon,” she added.

The lady senator also urged public hospitals and local government units to distribute face masks to areas affected by the ashfall.

“Ang mga public hospitals at LGU ay maaari rin mamahagi ng masks at unahin ang mga bata, senior citizens at may mga kapansanan,” Poe said.

“Makakatulong kung may direktiba ang DOH (Department of Health), DTI at DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government),” she added.