Public school pupils will likely use face masks produced by the Community Health Education Emergency Rescue Services (CHEERS) with assistance from the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) when classes open later this month.
PTRI director Celia Elumba said their agency has allowed allowed CHEERS to use its Textile Development Center for its project which is now producing some 100,000 face masks.
“We trained two of their cutters and provided supervision. We do not have the manpower to act as a manufacturing arm but we know and are ready to assist on how best we can support manufacturing needs,” she said.
CHEERS’ masks are three-layer cloth ensemble that ensure convenience for its users. Elumba said the effort is in coordination with the DOH, taking into consideration the recommended guidelines by the World Health Organization.
Earlier, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said PTRI has also provided technical inputs to the Department of Health (DOH) relative to the adoption of the minimum requirements for non-medical cloth masks.
Dela Pena said DOST-PTRI actively responded to the DOH call “for government and private organizations to work together in response to the Covid-19 pandemic through the production of 20 million non-medical face masks.”
PTRI has been sharing its technical know-how in producing water-repellent, reusable face masks to three manufacturers.