FDA-CAR, DTI-CAR asked to regulate cost of Medical Oxygen

The Baguio City Council has approved a resolution calling on the Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera Administrative Region (DTI-CAR) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-CAR to regulate the cost of oxygen refill in the city.

Councilor Mylen Victoria Yaranon, author of the resolution, said there is a need to regulate the price of oxygen refill for medical needs to make sure that those who are in need are able to afford it.

Yaranon explained that the availability of medical oxygen plays a critical role in determining the survival and recovery of individuals who are severely ill from COVID-19.

Due to the increase of severe COVID-19 cases in the city, people have been buying medical oxygen from medical suppliers causing a rise in the demand for the said commodity.

The councilor emphasized that, during these difficult times, commodities should not be sold at unreasonably high prices, adding that business people should maintain a balance between making a profit and helping those who are in need.

She stated that the price of refilling a 40-liter/60-pound medical oxygen tank in the city ranges from P500.00 to P650.00.

The Baguio City Emergency Medical Service (BCEMS), in a Facebook page dated September 30, 2021, listed 18 establishments in the city and nearby localities selling, renting out, and refilling oxygen tanks.

A press release by the City Public Information Office dated October 16, 2021, stated that the city government had partnered with a private company for the putting up of an oxygen generation plant to help stabilize the supply of oxygen in the city.

According to Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the eyed project would be at no cost to the city government and that the plant could be established within a period of “two to three weeks depending on the prevailing situation.”

Right now, the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center has its own oxygen plant which is currently being upgraded to increase its production level in order to address the surge in the demand for oxygen. –Jordan G. Habbiling with reports from PIO