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Davao City, Philippines

Gov’t gives 30.8M face masks to poor communities

April 16, 2021 - Friday 7:04 PM by PNA

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MANILA – To ensure that poor communities will be able to comply with minimum health standards and have protection against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the government distributed over 30 million free face masks as of April 15.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez reported to President Rodrigo Duterte Thursday evening that a total of 30,808,518 washable cloth face masks were already produced and delivered.

Over 16.24 million face masks will be delivered in the coming weeks as the government targets to distribute a total of 47,047,788 masks under the “Libreng Masks para sa Masa” project of the Office of the President.

The Office of the President has partnered with DTI, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, 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 for the free face masks project.

“With the growing numbers of active cases in the country and its effect on our economy, we continue to give high importance in producing and distributing the much-needed washable masks in the poor communities, while linking as well the production of said masks with the various community-based sewers and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises),” Lopez said. 

Bulk of the free face masks went to poor families, particularly beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), in the National Capital Region which is a high-risk area for Covid-19.

The government also distributed the free washable cloth face masks to regions with high cases of Covid-19 including Regions 3, 4-A, 6, 7, and 11.

Lopez said face mask distribution is ongoing every week.

“With DTI laying down plans for a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) that will push for a calibrated reopening of low-risk, essential sectors, these masks will become integral in our efforts to mitigate the impact of the imposed lockdown,” he added. Kris Crismundo

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