Agencies to pool resources for face masks for masses
The directive is contained in Memorandum Order No. 49 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea yesterday.?
Screenshot of the Pre Sona forum
Agencies to pool resources for face masks for masses
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has ordered agencies to pool their resources to produce face masks for distribution to the public as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus disease 2019.

The directive is contained in Memorandum Order No. 49 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea yesterday.

“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,” the order read.

The order covers the trade, health, budget and social welfare departments, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Presidential Management Staff.

The Department of Trade and Industry will lead the production and purchase of face masks. It will consolidate various micro, small and medium enterprise producers, cooperatives and community organizations relative to the production of face masks.

The agency will also support TESDA in gaining access to production networks and supplier markets for raw materials and finished goods.

The Department of Health and DTI will determine the minimum and most cost-efficient and good quality specifications necessary for the face masks to be effective in protecting against transmission of the virus.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM)’s procurement service, meanwhile, will assist in the purchase of masks. The funds will be charged against available released allotments of the DOH. The DBM will also provide technical assistance in the downloading and use of funds subject to existing budget and accounting rules.

The DTI and DBM will coordinate with TESDA for the purchase of face masks produced by technical education learners.

The social welfare department, meanwhile, will use its networks and facilities to identify and distribute face masks to intended beneficiaries, including recipients of the government’s cash transfer program.

The Presidential Management Staff assistant secretary for regional concerns will lead in monitoring the progress of face mask distribution.

The government has announced a plan to distribute 20 million free face masks to the poor to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, which has so far infected more than 272,000 people in the Philippines.   

SALVADOR MEDIALDEA
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