President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the government agencies to use their resources to produce face mask and distribute it to the poor.
The order came from the Memorandum Number 49 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Mediladea.
According to the memorandum, the following departments should “pool their resources and efforts” in producing face mask and distribute it “free of charge”:
- Department of Trade and Industry (DTI);
- Department of Health (DOH);
- Department of Budget and Management (DBM);
- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- Presidential Management Staff (PMS)
“It is imperative to reinforce non-pharmaceutical interventions, such
as minimizing face-to-face interaction, wearing of face masks and face shields, and observing social distancing, to complement our healthcare facilities and support our health workers in containing the further spread of the COVID-19 virus,” President Duterte said.
“It has already dealt an incomparable blow to the overall health and security of the population and the economy and continues to threaten more lives and livelihoods,” he added.
DTI was tasked to coordinate with agencies that would produce face mask and also ordered to assist TESDA in gaining access to production networks and supplier markets.
DOH together with DTI, would determine the “most-efficient and good quality specification” for the free face masks.
DBM was also tasked to “assist the procurement of the fase mask”.
DSWD then shall prioritize identifiying the people deserved to be awarded by the free face mask, including the “financially disavantaged, and persons with disability.
It also included the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4ps)
The PMS would monitor the progress of distribution and report it to the President.
President Duterte, a few months ago vowed to distribute free face mask to the people.
“Masks, ito importante talaga. Ngayon kung wala kayo, I will try to buy as many as I can afford kung kaya ko. Ibigay namin sa inyo libre but wear it,” he said.