DTI: Supply of alcohol, face masks in PH starting to normalize

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MANILA, Philippines — The country’s supply of alcohol and face masks — which are considered essential items to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) — is starting to normalize, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Saturday.

“Magandang [trend] ngayon ng mga alcohol, even face mask, ay pag bumili tayo, available na (It’s a good trend that when want to buy alcohol and face masks, it’s readily available),” Trade and Industry chief Ramon Lopez said during the Laging Handa online press briefing.

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Lopez added that since the supply of face masks is getting better, the DTI is now allowing buyers to buy 10 face masks, which have been sealed by retailers as a pack.

“Imbes na lima bawat buyer, ay sampu na kaya inaadjust natin yun kasi sine-seal po yung sampu,” Lopez said “By 10s po ang pakete ngayon para yung isang buyer, di na binubuksan yung pakete, selyado pa rin, at yun yung binebenta.”

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(Instead of five, we allowed buyers to buy 10 that is sealed as a pack. One pack consists of 10 face masks so that a buyer won’t have to open up the sealed pack that is being sold.)

Another reason why the supply of alcohol and face masks is starting to normalize is that there are more local manufacturers who have been producing such products.

“‘Yun po yung magandang development na itinutulak po ng DTI mula nung umpisa ay ma-encourage ang mga local manufacturers natin na pumasok at gumawa rin ng ganitong critical health products,” Lopez said.

(That’s the great development, since the start, the DTI has been encouraging local manufacturers to start making critical health products.)

In March, the DTI ordered that buyers can only buy at a maximum of two bottles of alcohol and two bottles of hand sanitizers.

The Philippines is one of the countries around the world affected by the COVID-19 crisis, which was later declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Currently, the Philippines has 13,777 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, of which 3,177 have recovered while 863 have died.

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