DTI targets 10K face masks, 500 face shields

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Iloilo headed by OIC provincial director Felisa Judith L. Degala (2nd from left), delivers face shields and face masks for the medical front-liners of the Western Visayas Medical Center on April 7, 2020. The DTI, through its nine shared service facilities on garments and wearables, and fabrication laboratory targets to produce 10,000 face masks and 500 face shields. (Photo courtesy of DTI Iloilo)

Shared service facilities (SSF) cooperators of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 6 (Western Visayas) are working to produce 10,000 face masks that conform to the standards of the Department of Health (DOH) and 500 face shields.

DTI-6 Assistant Director Ermelinda P. Pollentes said Monday that even before the health crisis, the SSFs have already been producing face masks but these were “not within the DOH standards.”

“With the use of (the) DTI resiliency fund, we order for our own and at the same (time) for distribution as part of (the) corporate social responsibility and project of SSF,” Pollentes said.

However, she gave no time frame on when the target production would be met because this would depend on the availability of materials.

In Panay, the DOH-standard face masks are being produced by SSFs engaged in garments and wearables in Lambunao, Iloilo; Dao, Capiz; and three more in Antique.

Regionwide, the DTI has nine SSFs with a production capacity of more or less 20,000 washable and re-usable masks in a month, depending on the availability of materials to be provided by the DTI.

Pollentes said the outer layer of the mask is made of polyester, the middle part is made of polypropylene, and the last layer is made of cotton.

As of Monday, 2,305 masks were completed and distributed to medical front-liners in hospitals and personnel manning various checkpoints. They were distributed through the DTI’s provincial offices.

The SSF in Negros Occidental has yet to start its production.

She added that the DTI would pay for the labor as part of its assistance to the workers.

Meanwhile, in partnership with the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT-U), the DTI targets to produce 500 face shields. The ISAT-U serves as a cooperator of the DTI fabrication laboratory.

As of Monday, 340 face shields were produced and delivered to the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC), Western Visayas Sanitarium, and provincial hospitals for distribution to various district hospitals.

The ISAT-U has already been producing face shields before the DTI tapped its services. The university has four persons working on the face shields with a daily production capacity of 40 units each.

On the other hand, the Guimaras State University (GSU), the DTI’s cooperator for SSF on garments, wearable, homestyle and apparel technology, also initiated the production of face masks for medical front-liners and volunteers in Guimaras.

The GSU targets to produce 25,000 face masks with a production capacity of 1,000 pieces daily. To date, it has produced 7,000 face masks. (PNA)