Press Release
January 13, 2020

Statement of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros urging the provision of face masks and protective equipment to first responders and the vulnerable and sick

Ngayong panahon ng sakuna, unahin natin ang kaligtasan at kalusugan ng lahat.

I support and thank the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for its recent commitment to put an end to the many reported cases of overpricing of face masks in Metro Manila due to the ashfall from the Taal Volcano. This shameful profiteering by businesses at the expense of the health of others must stop.

At the same time, I ask the public not to overstock and hoard supplies of face masks and other protective equipment, so that everyone in the metro will get the protection needed to avoid serious health risks when we go outside of our homes.

I also encourage the Department of Health and local government units to use their stock of face masks and protective equipment and provide them freely to people who need them the most - such as families living in areas badly affected, first responders, and the immunocompromised such as the sick elderly and very young. No expense is too high to ensure the safety and good health of our people, especially in this time of need.

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