The government has distributed more than 857,000 free face masks to the poor and vulnerable families in Metro Manila, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has disclosed.

face mask 5085525 960 720 - More than 857,000 free face masks given to poor families in Metro Manila
(Pixabay / MANILA BULLETIN)

The DSWD said the Task Group Face Mask (TG FM) has already turned over a total of 857,230 face masks to the local government units of Muntinlupa City, Pateros, San Juan City, and Navotas City.

“The TG FM will continue to distribute face masks to the remaining LGUs in the National Capital Region, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas, Bulacan, and parts of Visayas, and Mindanao,” it said in a statement issued on Friday night.

The DSWD is a member of the task group which is tasked to lead the distribution of free face masks to the poor as a part of precautionary measure against COVID-19.

“The provision of face masks is part of the campaign of the administration to prioritize the safety of citizens during the pandemic,” the DSWD said.

“It aims to strengthen the government’s strategic plan on fighting COVID-19 by educating and engaging the public to follow the minimum public health standards and prevent or minimize the local spread of the virus in the country,” it said.

The DSWD noted that the government’s implementation of the “Libreng Mask Para sa Masa” project also seeks to support micro, small, and medium enterprises whose operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On September 16, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea signed Memorandum No. 49 directing the DSWD and five other agencies to pool their resources, and closely coordinate for the swift distribution of face masks to the public free of charge.

Joining the DSWD in implementing the free face masks to the poor are the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Presidential Management Staff (PMS).

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