By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was able to get the partial supply of N-88 masks from MedTecs, the lone local manufacturer from Bataan.
With the assistance of the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), DTI procured 125,000 pieces of N-88 masks. Of these, 70,000 pieces were delivered and immediately donated to the Department of Health and DTI regional offices and attached agencies.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, the next batch of deliveries will make available 80,000 pieces which will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in coordination with PRC Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon.
The PRC, in turn, shall distribute the masks to more than 100 Red Cross offices nationwide.
To further augment the supply, Medtecs committed to double their production, enabling them to provide 400,000 pieces of masks weekly.
Among these, 200,000 pieces will go to the Department of Health (DOH) and 100,000 to Red Cross and other government agencies. Meanwhile, 100,000 pieces will be allocated to private retailers Mercury Drug and Southstar Drug for distribution nationwide.
With weekly supply to leading drug stores in the country, consumers can be assured access to N-88 masks. Mercury Drug has over 1,000 branches nationwide and Southstar Drug has 500 branches.