By Jann Tatad
VIRAC, Catanduanes – A handicraft entrepreneur here has come up with an eco-friendly alternative to disposable and reusable cloth face masks as protection against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Teresita Sebastian, owner of Ody’s Homecraft in Barangay Valencia here, has re-purposed her production by creating abaca face masks which can be availed for only P20 a piece.
The product comes in two types: dual-ply, where the outer part is made of abaca paper and the inner part is made of thin cloth; and single-ply facemasks made of abaca paper only with a slot for tissue paper or thin gauze.
Abaca is said to be effective than a regular cloth and N95 mask in terms of filtration based on a test conducted by Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 10.
Sebastian said that the abaca masks are washable and reusable. She also assured that despite its papery texture because of abaca fiber, the facemask was still comfortable to use.
Moreover, the crafter said that they were now looking into ways on how to easily produce more abaca handmade face masks, as well as shipping products to interested buyers from outside the province.