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DTI prepares 20 M initial free face masks

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is targeting to distribute in two months the initial 20 million free face masks to the poorest of the poor nationwide.

              DTI Secretary Ramon M. 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.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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