Following his earlier appeal for the government to enforce a stronger face mask-wearing policy, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Friday urged concerned agencies to promote and patronize the local production of protective masks proudly made by Filipinos.
The government must prioritize buying locally-made masks to save jobs, and provide them to those who cannot afford to buy their own masks to help save lives, Go, chairman of the Senate Health and Demography Committee, said.
“Tulungan rin nating makaahon ang mga lokal na industriya, tulad ng mga mananahi at mga nagbebenta ng raw materials na magagamit sa paggawa ng face masks. Kung mapapalakas natin ang local production ng face masks, mabibigyan natin ng livelihood ang mga tao, lalo na yung mga nawalan ng trabaho, at mas mapoprotektahan natin ang ating mga kababayan mula sa sakit,’’ he added. (Let us also help the local industries to recover, such us the sewers and the sellers of raw materials being used in the making face masks. If we can strengthen the local production of face masks, this will help provide livelihood for the people, especially those who lost their jobs, and we can also protect our countrymen against the disease.)
Go also called on the Department of Trade and Industry ( DTI), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to use their available resources to support and train those who could locally produce standard face masks that pass health specifications to augment the needed supply.
“Siguraduhin natin na papasa ang mga ito sa specifications ng DOST (Department of Science and Technology] at health experts ,’’ he stressed. (Let’s ensure that these will pass the specifications of DOST and the health experts.)
“Let us make it a discipline among all Filipinos to wear face masks at all times. Pinaalalahanan ko ang publiko na ang pagsuot ng face mask ay pangunahing paraan upang proteksyunan ang sarili at bilang pagrespeto o pagbibigay konsiderasyon rin sa kapwa tao,’’ he added. (I am reminding the public that the wearing of face masks is the first line in providing protection for ourselves and as a respect or in giving consideration to our fellowmen.)
According to experts, wearing the right kind of face masks decreases the risk of spreading the virus by 85 percent. With social distancing and the use of face shields, the risk may be reduced by more than 90 percent. This is why, in the absence of a vaccine, wearing a face mask remains a must, he pointed out.