MANILA – The government is targeting to distribute over 47 million pieces of free face masks under its “Mask para sa Masa” project, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday, 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 coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
Nearly 6.7 million of the face masks were given to poor communities in Metro Manila, 3.1 million pieces in Region 4-A, 1.1 million pieces in Region 7, 852,330 masks each in Region 6 and Region 11, and 10,000 face masks in Region 3.
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 13.67 million face masks were already produced by local community sewers and local manufacturers.
Some 16.1 million cloth face masks are for delivery and 17.2 million pieces are ongoing production, procurement, and post qualification.
He added that aside from providing free face masks, the project provides a source of income to jobless individuals in the communities.
“This is a double purpose —they have 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 said in mixed English and Filipino.
The DTI chief said 17.17 million reusable face masks will be distributed to poor communities in the next one to two weeks, bringing the total face masks that have been distributed to 30 million. (PNA)