The Duterte government intends to produce at least 20 million reusable face masks for the country’s “poorest of the poor.”
Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo today that the three-layer face masks will be made by women cooperatives and micro-enterprises that have received grants from the government. However, the project will still undergo bidding that will be overseen by the Department of Budget and Management.
“The Office of the President wants something reusable so that it could be used multiple times and not the disposable type that has to be disposed after being used just once or twice,” Lopez said in English and Filipino.
“There won’t be just one supplier. [Work] will be divided [to several businesses] in a village, and will be distributed in the community…This gives seamstresses a source of income and their products will be used as well,” he added.
The face mask comes with a simple design and looks like the typical cloth mask.
“The difference is, the fabric is nice and the size is suitable for Filipinos. If ever, the design says ‘Heal as One.’ It’s very generic and we know that this project comes from this. But there’s no name, no picture [printed on it],” he said and added that all face masks will be delivered after two months.
The government imposed the mandatory use of face masks in April to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Filipinos can use surgical masks, reusable masks, hankies, or any shield to protect their faces.
This article, After 6 months in quarantine, gov’t to hand out 20 million face masks to ‘poorest’ Pinoys, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.