More than 1.2 million face masks have been distributed to poor families in Metro Manila under the national government’s “Libreng Mask Para sa Masa” project, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Tuesday, Nov. 10.
The DSWD cited that the Task Group Face Mask (TG FM) already handed over a total of 1,218,790 face masks to the local government units (LGUs) of Muntinlupa City, San Juan City, Navotas City, and Mandaluyong City, and Pateros.
“The TG FM will continue to distribute face masks to the remaining LGUs in the National Capital Region, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas, Bulacan, and parts of Visayas and Mindanao,” it said in a statement.
The DSWD is a member of the task group that leads the distribution of free face masks to the poor as a part of precautionary measure against COVID-19.
The agency explained that handing out face masks is part of the administration’s campaign to prioritize the safety of citizens during the pandemic.
“It aims to strengthen the government’s strategic plan on fighting COVID-19 by educating and engaging the public to follow the minimum public health standards and prevent or minimize the local spread of the virus in the country,” it said.
The DSWD noted that the government’s implementation of the “Libreng Mask Para sa Masa” project also seeks to support micro, small, and medium enterprises whose operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sept. 16, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea signed Memorandum No. 49 directing the DSWD and five other agencies to pool their resources, and closely coordinate for the swift distribution of face masks to the public free of charge.
Joining the DSWD in implementing the free face masks to the poor are the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Presidential Management Staff (PMS).