The Drugstores Association of the Philippines and the Dept. of Trade revealed that the reasons why emergency face masks are nowhere for sale in drugstores and so are the E95 protective face masks—is because the hospitals nationwide are being prioritized for possible influx of Covid19 patients while more imporation is being ordered and local manufacturers being encouraged to produce more.
But the bad news is: the prices in Manila are now higher ( P15 per mask) higher than the DOH price ceilings in the provinces which is only P12. Thus the drugstores are no longer buying lest they be caught overpricing the ceiling of P12.
Solution: DTI wants DOH to set the increase to P16 per mask so that the local drug stores can sell it with a small mark up.
Similarly, the N95 protective masks are pegged by DOH at p105, but Manila suppliers sell it at P150 maximum per mask so the local drugs stores are no longer buying.
Solution: DTI asks DOH to allow local drugstores to sell it higher so it can offset the Manila costs with a small mark up.
DTI provincial officer Nimfa Virtucio also told CROSSTALK RADIOSHOW that DTI merely implements the price ceiling which are set by DOH. It does not even have a police power against violators unless there is a sworn complaint.
Virtucio added that she will ask her Manila head office or email the secretary of DTI about the situation here. Meantime,, it’s a status quo situation. No mask No orders, until the price ceiling is adjusted.
Chiki Fabillar, national area coordinator for Visayas of the Drugstore Association of the Philippines and former president of the local drugstore association chapter of Negros Oriental, in an interview with CROSSTALK radio show at DYEM BAI RADIO said, they do not mind the Dept. of Trade in being very strict in monitoring local drugstores so long as they can have little profit.
There are 90 local drug stores all over the province which is headed by Rey Roca as president.
Drugstores Association of the philippines Negros Oriental/ siquijor chapter, officers: mr. Ray Roca- chapter president, internal VP Haide Lou Fuentes, external vp ms. Aurieza Fuentes, secretary- mis fatima bureros,
Treasurer- ms jenifer Silva, auditor- ms Emily Escabarte
PRES Reynaldo T Roca Jr, Kathy Sy, immediate past president, VP INT Haidee Lou F Belandres, VP EXT Aureizsa G Fuentes, SEC Fatima Mae D Bureros, TREAS Jennifer S Silva, AUDITOR Emily S Escabarte, PRO Claire D Laurie, CHAIR Katherine V Sy.
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD: Jonilda L Woo, Asuncion Honey Lynn T Teng, Edna Mae C Lebrilla, Edward YR Sung, Ruby Maria R Tayko, Annabel A Ebisa, Grace Loraine B Opada, Leny T Bumanglag, Milagros V Uy, PRES Reynaldo T Roca Jr, VP INT Haidee Lou F Belandres, VP EXT Aureizsa G Fuentes, SEC Fatima Mae D Bureros, TREAS Jennifer S Silva, AUDITOR Emily S Escabarte, PRO Claire D Laurie.
Chikki FAbillar further revealed that most of the 90 drug stores in Negros Oriental can afford to buy, and supply emergency face masks, but it is their Manila suppliers that are starting the overprice and they , here are closely monitored and cannot raise their prices.
That is why local drug stores prefer to no longer sell protective face masks unless they can have a little mark up.
Fabillar said that drugs store business is less lucrative unlike other retail business because the profit for drugstores is only 6% not to include overhead expenses.