Poor communities to get 47M facemasks from gov’t

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has revealed that the government will distribute over 47 million pieces of free face masks under its “Mask para sa Masa” project.

In his recent report to President Duterte, Lopez said 12.6 million cloth face masks were already distributed to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in areas with high Covid-19 cases.

DTI sources said nearly 6.7 million of the face masks were given to poor communities in Metro Manila; 3.1 million pieces in Southern Tagalog; 1.1 million pieces in Region 7, 852,330 masks each in Region 6 and Region 11, and 10,000 face masks in Central Luzon.

The “Mask para sa Masa” is a joint project of the Office of the President with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, DTI, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Health, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Lopez said some 13.67 million face masks have already been produced by local community sewers and local manufacturers, and some 16.1 million cloth face masks are for delivery while 17.2 million pieces are ongoing production, procurement, and post qualification.

Aside from providing free face masks, he said the project also provides a source of income to jobless individuals in the communities. “This is a double purpose project. They get livelihood, and whatever they produce is given to poor communities. This also helps our local manufacturers to increase their production volume. It’s creating jobs when it’s locally made,” Lopez explained.