PTRI helps in mask production for DepEd learners

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

August 5, 2020, 6:37 pm

<p>(<em>Logo grabbed from DOST-PTRI Facebook page</em>)</p>

(Logo grabbed from DOST-PTRI Facebook page)

MANILA – The Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been helping the Community Health Education Emergency Rescue Services (CHEERS) in producing 100,000 face masks for Department of Education (DepEd) learners.

PTRI director Celia Elumba said on Wednesday the Institute allowed CHEERS to use its Textile Development Center.

"We trained two of their cutters and provided supervision. We do not have the manpower to act as a manufacturing arm but we are (ready to assist) on how best we can support manufacturing needs," she said.

Elumba said CHEERS uses its own cut parts or fabrics to make the masks.

"To date, a total of 332, 838 cut parts in three materials representing 100,000 units of three-layer cloth masks have been produced, and ready for assembly," she added.

DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña earlier said the PTRI also provided technical inputs to the Department of Health (DOH) with regard to the adoption of the minimum requirement for non-medical cloth masks.

"DOST-PTRI took an active part in the call of DOH 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," he said.

Elumba said the undertaking is in coordination with the DOH, approximating the World Health Organization-recommended guidelines.

“The substitute is just an approximation, and given the urgency of the need," Elumba said.

The PTRI has been sharing the technical know-how in producing water-repellent, reusable face masks to three manufacturers, one knit fabric manufacturer, and a processing facility.

"Some 103,000 (reusable face masks) were produced, and less than 70,000 were provided," she said, adding that among the recipients were the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. (PNA