By Raymund Antonio
A group of orphans and widows of drug war victims has been tapped by Vice President Leni Robredo’s office to sew protective suits for medical workers battling the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Robredo posted on her Facebook page photos of orphaned families that belong to the Payatas Samahan ng mga Orphans at Widows (SOW) who are helping in the local production of personal protective equipment.
“They are family members of EJK (extrajudicial killings) victims who organized themselves. We tapped them to sew PPEs for us and we have been so impressed by the speed and quality of their work,” Robredo said.
“I wanted to share this with you because moving forward with our new normal, let us all find creative ways by which we can help communities,” she added.
Robredo’s office has turned to local fashion designers and sewers to create PPE suits as it faced difficulty purchasing the protective gear due to the rising global demand for it brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) has raised P53.87 million to fund the purchase of PPE sets for 21,432 frontliners. Of this amount, it has allocated P7.3 million for locally-produced PPE suits.
Robredo said that providing jobs to the families of EJK victims is more sustainable in this time of the coronavirus crisis.
“Giving relief goods will not be sustainable in the long term. But giving them opportunities to earn income will help them live with dignity,” she said.
In the same Facebook post, the vice president also shared the text message she received from the Payatas SOW members.
“Maraming salamat po sa inyong pagpapatahi na isa po kami sa SOW ang napili nio. Sobrang malaki po ang tulong sa mga nanay (Thank you very much for selecting SOW as one of the sewers. This is a big help to the mothers),” the message read.
The group also told Robredo they hoped to sew PPE suits again for COVID-19 frontliners.