Issue of March 22, 2020
Mt. Province
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Innovations in protective face masks urged due to shortage
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

The Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera has tapped interested small and medium enterprises to help in the production of face masks or alternative protective shields due to the scarcity of its supply in the market since the coronavirus disease (Covid-9) pandemic started last month.

Juliet Lucas, DTI-CAR assistant director, said the agency has got in touch with entrepreneurs in the Cordillera provinces and many of them agreed to help in the production of cloths that may be used as protective face shield, the wearing of which has become imperative as one of the precautions of the government since community quarantine was imposed in Luzon due to the spread of Covid-9.

She said the production of face masks made of cloth may at least provide an alternative to the general population and ease the lack of the commodity in the meantime.

At the national level, Lucas said the Philippine International Trading Center, a DTI-attached bureau, has requested supplies from India and other countries and negotiation with suppliers are ongoing as stated by Sec. Ramon Lopez.

However, the number of supply that some of the manufacturers committed would not be sufficient to cover the need of the entire country.

“It is still not enough as we are prioritizing the supply for the health workers and for the sick. Those committed by the manufacturers, it is not enough for our population,” Lucas.
She appealed to consumers to practice discipline.

“It is really a sad state that the supply of face masks is scarce. It is a matter of discipline so we are appealing to consumers to be responsible and be considerate to other consumers,” Lucas said.

For alcohol, another necessity that has become scarce since the Covid-19, she said they have coordinated with stores in the region, whose owners heeded the agency’s appeal to adopt the measures limiting its distribution of alcohol. The DTI is also coordinating with manufacturers which committed to do their best to produce as much as they can relative to their capacity.

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