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Face shield prices will not be higher than P50, says DOH

Face shields, which will soon be required in public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will not be priced higher than P50 each, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

Interviewed on Unang Hirit, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have already come up with a suggested retail price (SRP) for face shields that is up for Secretary Francisco Duque III's approval before it is transmitted to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Vergeire said she could not divulge yet the SRP pending Duque's approval, but when pressed if it will not be higher than P50, she said, "Hindi naman po."

"Huwag kayong mag-alala [kasi] we made sure na hindi tataas ang presyo dahil based dun sa material na sinabi sa atin at mabibili ng ating mga kababayan nang hindi sila mahihirapan," she said.

The DTI on Monday said it has asked the DOH to impose a SRP for face shields in line with its mandatory use in public transportation starting August 15.

Ahead of the mandatory use, prices of face shields have reportedly started to go up, with wholesale prices now at P40 a piece from P18 previously. Retail prices have also gone as high as P50.

Vergeire said their recommended SRP is based on a "small survey" the DOH conducted following coordination with experts regarding materials used in manufacturing face shields.

"Nagpagawa kami ng small survey across the different markets of face shields dito sa ating bansa, pero bago namin ginawa 'yan nakipag-usap kami sa ekperto kung ano bang klaseng material ang kailangan ng face sheild para maprotektahan ang ating mga consumers, 'yung mga kababayan natin," she said.

"Meron namang napag-agreehan at sinabi rin nung experts na ito yung material na kailangan, so with that material we were able to do a survey so nakapag-rekomenda na kami kahapon, sa ating Secretary of Health, kung magkano ang SRP na ilalagay natin diyan," Vergeire added.

Vergeire said Duque is expected to approve the SRP on Wednesday. —KBK, GMA News