The health crisis, which has become a fresh test of survival for a country where life has been a daily struggle, has provoked a shared sense of responsibility among women
They are scrounging for fabric, cutting it up, stitching it together. They are repurposing old clothes, blankets, and sheets while building supply chains and managing distribution networks.
Most of all, they are sewing.
In such a moment of need, ordinary Filipinos have stepped up to share the little that they have, tapping into a culture of generosity, volunteerism, and care within the community.
With the help of LBC Foundation, women from Taguig Livelihood Shoppe are crafting thousands of face masks to help shield healthcare workers, delivery drivers, security guards, and janitors, among others.
“We were given an opportunity by LBC to do something significant and continue our daily livelihood,” says Vida Sario, 63, wife of a construction worker. “We sew reusable face masks all day to produce 500 pieces of face masks daily. We can’t go home to our respective homes because it is our job to provide for our families and to help out the Filipino people so they will be safe in adhering to the enhanced community quarantine to fight Covid-19.”
Jocelyn Rodriguez, 47, mother of three, and a wife of a construction worker, said she is grateful for the opportunity to serve the public.
“I first started working in Livelihood Shoppe in 2004, where we make novelty items. But since the ECQ has been imposed by the government, it has stopped. My husband who is also a construction worker has been forced to stay at home with no pay,” she said. “I’m still grateful despite not being able to come home because I can earn to provide for my family’s daily needs. I am also sewing face masks not only for my family but it’s also my service and form of help to our countrymen.”
The foundation has also tapped women to spearhead the donation in the city. The donated masks were given to senior citizens, pregnant women, and wet market vendors since they are the most vulnerable and susceptible to the disease. Some of the barangays in Taguig were beneficiaries of the free masks, including Barangays Napindan, Maharlika, and Fort Bonifacio.
In Pasig, they also gave out masks to the frontliners of Comet Electric Vehicles, which serve as shuttles for the nurses and doctors in Pasig City General Hospital and Philippine General Hospital.
To date, LBC Foundation is working with various nonprofit organizations such as the Taguig Livelihood Shoppe and Upskills Foundation Inc. to source, locally produce, and distribute P50 million worth of face masks to vulnerable communities as part of their commitment to helping move the nation in these trying times.
“LBC is starting this mask program with hopes of being one with all Filipinos—to flatten the curve. This initiative is also set to assist in educating the public more, on the vital function of masks to protect not just themselves, but also others around them. We believe that masks can—and will—save lives,” LBC Foundation executive director Nena Wuthrich said.