₱300 million allocated for free face masks

Published September 19, 2020, 7:32 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The government, through the Department of Health (DOH), has allocated ₱300 million for its free face mask production, distribution, and livelihood program to the poorest of the poor.


Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the program is targeting that each sewer will be paid ₱6 per piece of face mask produced for a minimum daily wage of at least ₱500. Lopez said the project funding will come from the DOH.

The DTI is targeting to distribute in two months or by October an initial 20 million free face masks to the poorest of the poor na-tionwide.

Lopez said that following the directive of President Duterte, they are tapping micro cooperatives and women’s groups that were granted sewing machines as part of the DTI shared services facilities, local government units and sewers with sewing machines to be part of this project.

Lopez said this is also part of the DTI livelihood program as sewers will be paid according to their production.

Lopez said they are targeting an initial 20 million reusable, washable face masks for distribution in one or two months to the poorest of the poor or those beneficiaries under the list of Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Lopez said the design and cloth of the face masks have been approved by the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Design and Research Institute making sure they meet the three-layer standard of protection to keep droplets from penetrating.

To ensure the face mask is properly labeled as a government project, Lopez said they are tentatively looking the “Heal As One” on the face mask.

This also ensures against potential abuse by government officials, who may be tempted to claim credit for the free face masks by putting their names on it.

Definitely, Lopez said there will no names, pictures or signages of politicians in the face masks.

“We will monitor and the DSWD will be the one to distribute and the Office of the President will also monitor the project so it would be easy to track and prevent violations,” he said.