The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI), in partnership with Taytay, Rizal’s local government unit and the private sector, will work on producing up to 500,000 pieces of masks that can be washed up to 50 times.
The production of reusable, washable, and re-wearable (RWR) face masks will help solve the shortage of surgical masks amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In a post on Facebook, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña mentioned that PTRI will collaborate with Power Fashion Inc. to produce masks made up of local fiber textiles which will be donated by the latter.
DOST-PTRI will use its textile water-repellent finishing technology so that the reusable masks can protect users from bacteria and viruses that spread through water droplets.
High Demand for Face masks
PTRI Promotions head Evangeline Manalang said that during the latest eruption of Taal Volcano, they produced masks from their scrap fabrics. Now, they will produce water-repellent masks as protection against COVID-19.
Moreover, the promotions head also said that the masks can be used up to 50 times since they are meant to be washed daily. And as PTRI and Power Fashion discuss arrangements amid the quarantine over Luzon, we’ll have to wait for them to finish producing the masks.
Other DOST efforts in response to COVID-19 crisis
Based on de la Peña’s announcement, here are some of DOST’s plans and preparations as Luzon is placed under ECQ.
Production of Processed Food
DOST’s Industrial Technology Development and Institute (DOST-ITDI) will operate its Food Innovation Facilities to produce processed food (limited in capacities).
The institute will also make the following products immediately available for distribution in regions:
- 15,000 packs of RTE Arrozcaldo
- 3,000 packs of Rice Meal
DOST-ITDI will also offer an online livelihood training program or e-learning courses focusing on how to create:
- antibacterial soap
- hand gel sanitizer
- rubbing alcohol
- processed foods
Complimentary Food for Babies and Children
DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) can also provide complimentary food for babies and children.
These are available in 37 technology adopters which are either LGUs, SUCs, NGOs, or private enterprises in different regions.
Grace period for repayment system for production technology equipment
The repayment system for these equipment advanced by DOST for higher productivity to Micro Small & Medium Enterprises will be restructured for two months postponement without interest penalty.