Vendors selling overpriced face shields in Manila may be summoned, warns city gov't

Vendors caught selling overpriced face shields in Manila may be issued show-cause orders to explain before the city government, said Bureau of Permits Director Levi Facundo after receiving complaints that some businesses in Manila sell face shields for P100 each.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has yet to release the suggested retail price of face shields, but Facundo said its price should not go beyond P25. 

In a statement released on Tuesday (Aug. 11), the city government official told vendors not to "take advantage" of the public amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) crisis. 

"Nasa panahon po tayo ng pandemya, maraming nahihirapan. Alam kong apektado rin ang negosyo, pero apektado rin ang mamimili natin dahil sila'y nawalan rin ng trabaho, ng hanap-buhay (We are in the middle of a pandemic, a lot of people are struggling. I know that businesses are affected, but consumers are also affected because they have lost their jobs, their livelihoods)," he added.

Facundo also advised the public to take extra precautions when buying medical equipment online to avoid being scammed.

"If you feel na ang isang nagbebenta ay hindi legit o kaya nag-o-overprice (that a seller is not legit or is overpricing their products), let us know. We will coordinate with DTI, we will send them show-cause order, and pagpapaliwanagin natin (we will make them explain)," Facundo said. 

Meanwhile, the Manila city government is distributing free face shields to vendors in a bid to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced that workers and employees will be required to wear face shields starting Aug. 15. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has also required commuters and public transportation drivers to wear face shields in public.