The P26 to P50 suggested retail price (SRP) for face shields only covers the specifications given by the Department of Health (DOH), according to the local trade and industry office.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Palawan provincial director Hazel Salvador said Friday that the SRP was released by the DOH and their agency together to monitor compliance of the sellers with the Price Act.
She said the face shields covered by the SRP are only those with clear plastic or acetate materials; provides good visibility; fog-resistant; adjustable band to attach firmly around the head; fits comfortably against the forehead; full-face coverage (completely covers side and length); made of robust materials that can be easily cleaned and disinfected; and disposable or reusable.
“Nandoon ‘yong specifications ng face shield na ang sabi doon ay non-medical grade — yong specification na ‘yon na mga naunang lumabas, ‘yong parang garterize na may puti,” she said.
“Kapag sa Manila nila ‘yon binili, nakukuha nila ‘yon ng P30 minsan 25 pa, depende sa volume. Tapos binibenta nila ng P50. Iyon siguro ang pinagbasehan ni DOH ng pricing. Dito sa Palawan, nakita namin na mura lang din,” she added.
Salvador said that sellers are allowed to increase their selling price up to 10 percent as per the Price Act.
“Before nga mas mahal pa, iyon ‘yong unang-una. Unang labas talaga ng face shield medyo mahal kasi bago pa. Ngayon na dumami na, ni-require ng IATF na suotin sa mga sasakyan at workplace, tumaas ‘yong demand,” she said.
Salvador said that as demand increases so does prices. The SRP aims to protect the consumers from those who will take advantage of the increasing demands.
She added that the DTI is now monitoring establishments and even in the public markets. They are also checking the prices of “innovated” face shields which are not covered by the specifications given by the DOH.
“Monitoring lang kami how much on the ground ang bentahan, ganoon muna ang ginagawa namin ngayon. Hindi muna kami manghuhuli. Sa ngayon, yong malalaking (establishments) kaya nila ibenta ng P50 kasi kaya nila bumili ng volume sa Manila,” she said.
“Kung halimbawa nagtitinda ka sa bangketa, kunyare ang bili mo ay P50, hindi mo na siya mabenta ng P50. Puwedeng mag-usap kayo ng supplier mo na babaan para pumasok ka sa P50 na ceiling ng DOH, pero puwede naman dagdagan ng 10 percent, puwede ka magbenta hanggang P55,” Salvador added.
The DTI added on its advisory that it is important to note that the SRP only applies to basic non-medical grade face shields for community use.
The health department will release a separate issuance on the SRP of medical-grade face shields.