Ilocos Norte housewives make face masks for frontliners

Several housewives in San Guillermo village in the town of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte are working double-time to ensure all frontliners here have access to washable face masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus (Covid-19) infection.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the availability of disposable face masks from commercial drugstores has been scarce, prompting Virginia Jose and fellow dressmakers in the village to make a "do-it-yourself" protection gear.

“At first, we only thought of producing for ourselves and family but we were inspired to produce more for the safety of our community,” Jose said in an interview on Wednesday.

Jose and the other dressmakers earn their living by making singlets and t-shirts for fun run and other sporting events.

They use clean left-over fabric as materials for their washable face masks.

The dressmakers started their face masks project on Monday and since then have made at least 500 pieces. The group gives the washable face masks to the city policemen and members of the media for free.

However, those interested to buy can get their item at PHP35 each.

Police Senior M/Sgt. Noel R. Abad of the 1st Ilocos Norte Provincial Mobile Force Company facilitates the transfer and delivery of the finished products to his fellow men in uniform manning the province’s borders.

In between his duty as a police officer, Abad works with Jose’s team in organizing fun run events in the province.

On Wednesday morning, Abad handed over 200 pieces of masks to members of the Philippine National police in the city.

Jose's team has invited other dressmakers in neighboring Bingao village to keep up with the demand while the country is in a health emergency due to Covid-19.

But since holding of big events have been called off and social distancing is being enforced, Abad said he has to find a way for the housewives to earn and be able to feed their family.

“The housewives can work independently at home and we pay them for whatever they produce. This is also our simple way of protecting those who protect us in the field,” said Abad citing the police are exposed to risks yet they lack safety gear to protect themselves first.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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