Demand for face masks erupts in De Oro, 1,300km from Taal

A sales employee of a pharmacy in downtown Cagayan de Oro shows to reporters ON Tuesday a pack of disposable surgical masks, the only stock left in their inventory after a customer bought all their N95 face masks on Monday. JIGGER JERUSALEM

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—In this city which is at least 1,300 kilometers from Taal Volcano, face masks being used to filter volcanic sediments that Taal has been spitting out are also selling briskly.

The N95 masks are in short supply in this capital city of northern Mindanao, a day after hazardous ash was spewed by Taal Volcano, which is more than 1,300 km from here.


City Councilor George Goking noticed the situation last Monday yet (Jan 13) as he bought masks for his family to prepare for the possibility of the ash from Taal reaching Mindanao.

In an interview on Tuesday (Jan 14) Goking, chair of the city council’s trade and commerce committee, said he bought four pieces of N95 masks at P40 each on Monday but when he later asked his son to buy more, there was already none available.


Goking added that the situation alarmed him.

He said he is calling a meeting among businesses selling the face masks for them to explain the sudden shortage of supply.

Goking said he also asked businesses not to overprice the items.

At a pharmacy in the city’s business district in Divisoria, a sales employee told reporters the 47 pieces of N95 face masks, sold at P65 each, were all purchased by a single customer as news of the eruption came out on Sunday (Jan 12).

Two pharmacies nearby also said they no longer have the N95 masks in their stock.

A medical supply store on Velez Street has run out of N95 masks after people began buying them by boxes on Monday, according to a salesperson.

“We sold 300 pieces, the total number in our inventory, in a matter of hours,” said the sales employee. “Customers told us they will be sending the N95 masks to their relatives in Metro Manila and Luzon,” the salesperson said, adding that the store sells N95 mask at P35 apiece.


Edited by TSB
Inquirer calls for support for the victims of Taal volcano eruption
Responding to appeals for help, the Inquirer is extending its relief to the families affected by the recent eruption of Taal volcano.
Cash donations may be deposited in the Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860.
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TAGS: Eruption, Face Masks, N95, Taal, Volcano
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