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The Manila City government on Tuesday, January 14, received 1,000 KN90 face masks from the Chinese Embassy / Manila PIO

Chinese Embassy donates N95 face masks 

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The Chinese Embassy has donated more than 1,000 air filtration masks to Manila on Tuesday.

Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso personally received the face masks at the Manila City Hall.

He said students and senior citizens "will be prioritized” for the distribution.

Personnel from the embassy said the items procured from China were originally for the use of its office’s officials and staff.

However, it was decided that they will have it donated to the city instead.

Manila residents earlier expressed their sentiments through social media after some merchants have spiked the selling price of the government-recommended N95 masks to filter the dangerous ashfall coming from the Taal Volcano in Batangas that reached parts of the metropolis.

The N95 filter masks were sold at PHP200. It usually costs around PHP30 to PHP75 but went expensive after its demand increased following government advisories to wear it as protection.

On Monday, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan has ordered the Manila Bureau of Permits at Manila Licenses Office to conduct inspections.

If found guilty, merchants will have their permits revoked apart from having to face charges.

The Consumer Act's Section 52 bans Unfair or Unconscionable Sales Act or Practice, and prohibits sellers from exploiting buyers based on "physical or mental infirmity, ignorance, illiteracy, lack of time or the general conditions of the environment or surroundings."

Violators will be fined from PHP500 to PHP10,000 or be imprisoned from five months to a year.

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