Consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer, Inc. said the suggested retail price for face shieldd Industry should be below P50.
LKI president lawyer Victorio Mario Dimagiba said the problem now with prices of face shields is like the problem in supply and prices for face masks in the first quarter of the year.
Dimagiba, a former Trade and Industry undersecretary, said it would be hard to set the proper SRP for face shield at this time when there is already a government agency that requires wearing of face shield in public transportation.
“It seems they are not coordinated. Before declaring the policy, they should have known if there are enough supplies and what will be the prices,” he said.
Last week, the Department of Transportation issued a memorandum circular requiring passengers, drivers, and conductors of public utility vehicles to wear face shields starting August 15.
Before issuing the new policy, there were face shields that could be bought for P35 each as retail price.
However, prices have surged to P50 and even up to P100.
A consumer in Compostela, Davao de Oro said there are online sellers offering face shields at P300 per piece.
Dimagiba said consumers now become victims of profiteering.
“I don't think it should be P50; it should be lower than P50,” he said referring to the SRP of the face shield.
To recall, demand for surgical face masks, particularly N95 face masks, surged in the country even before the Covid-19 outbreak due to the Taal volcano eruption in January.
Since it is advisable to wear N95 face masks, demand increased and prices rose from PHP40 to P100.
During the Covid-19 outbreak here in March, there was a shortage in N88 face masks as there was only one local maker before.
SRP for N88 face masks is set at P28 per piece, way higher than the normal retail price of P1 to P8 per piece.
“We are recreating our own problems,” Dimagiba said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health said it will announce SRP for face shields within the week.