FDA sees no shortage of medical-grade oxygen supply

Published August 10, 2021, 12:08 AM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the Philippines still has enough supply of medical oxygen, as the country battles the threat of the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A scene in Cebu City went viral where cars are seen lining up in front of a private hospital with oxygen tanks stationed beside each vehicle Sunday night, August 1, 2021. Those cars were said to have patients who are experiencing cough and difficulty in breathing and are waiting to be accommodated by the said hospital. (PTV-4/MANILA BULLETIN)

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said there are now 81 licensed manufacturers of medical-grade oxygen around the country.

“So far, hindi naman tayo nakakakita pa ng shortage dito sa ating oxygen supply (So far, we are not seeing a shortage in our oxygen supply),” Domingo said in a public briefing Monday, Aug. 9.

Of the figure, the FDA chief reported that 51 were manufacturing plants that exclusively supply medical-grade oxygen to medical facilities, while the rest are hospitals with oxygen-generating plants.

Scenes of patients waiting inside their cars while queuing outside a hospital in Cebu City went viral on social media last week.

The Department of Health-Central Visayas (DOH 7) has since assured that the region has adequate supply of medical oxygen.

In his televised address, President Duterte said he would ask the Congress to grant tax subsidy to oxygen manufacturers for their contribution in the country’s battle against the infectious disease.

“Yung mga manufacturers, maybe I’ll talk to Congress, bigyan kayo ng tax relief diyan sa ginagawa ninyo (to give you tax relief for what you do) for you are producing a very vital component in the fight against COVID-19 and the Delta variant,” Duterte said.