Mindanawans join frantic search for face masks to send to kins in ash fall-stricken Batangas, Metro Manila
Balaw Mindanaw sends 3,000 face masks to Batangas
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental —The frantic search for face masks has reached Mindanao as anxious families scour hardware stores to buy for their relatives in Metro Manila and nearby Batangas province, which has been covered in ash fall following the eruption of Taal Volcano on Sunday, January 12.
Supplies of N95 face masks, the most favored item, had run out from medical supply stores in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Davao cities as of Wednesday, January 15.
Journalist Bobby Timonera of MindaNews said he considered himself lucky after he was able to secure face masks from an online store for his son and daughter in Manila last Monday.
“I went to a medical store here in Iligan City but was told that a customer bought their supply of 600 pieces of N95 masks,” Timonera said.
Councilor George Goking, chair of the Cagayan de Oro City Council’s trade and commerce committee, said pharmacies in the city have also reported that their stocks of face masks have ran out.
“One store told us they sold 300 pieces in a matter of hours. Many of their customers told them that will be sending the face masks to Manila, Batangas and nearby provinces,” he said.
Supplies for face masks have run out in Metro Manila and adjoining cities amid complaints of unscrupulous traders jacking up the prices of these portable respirators.
In Cagayan de Oro, an NGO, Balay Mindanaw Foundation , sent 3,000 of FFP2 face masks, an alternative to N95, for distribution in Batangas.
Balay Mindanaw chair Charlito Manlupig said they received a shipment of face masks and other goods from their partner, Disaster Aid.
He said the shipment was supposed to be used for incoming disasters and were prepositioned in their warehouse in Barangay Lumbia, this city.
“When we heard the call for face masks, we immediately decided to use them to fill the needs in Batangas,” Manlupig said./elb
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