THE COVID-19 scenario has now a new and interesting twist with Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go’s call on concerned government agencies to promote and patronize Filipino-made face masks.
What’s needed is for the national government, through concerned offices and agencies, to turn adversities into opportunities while the authorities try to halt the further spread of the killer virus.
In other words, let’s take this opportunity to help our beleaguered local businessmen and entrepreneurs and the mushrooming number of jobless and underemployed Filipinos.
“Tulungan nating makaahon ang mga lokal na mananahi at mga nagbebenta ng raw materials na magagamit sa paggawa ng face masks,” said Senator Go, a close associate of President Duterte.
The neophyte but highly-productive Go said if we can improve the local production of face masks, “mabibigyan natin ng livelihood ang mga tao, lalo na ‘yung mga nawalan ng trabaho.”
He urged the Department of Trade and Industry, Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to take part in this multi-pronged gigantic undertaking.
This the three state agencies will do by supporting and training local producers and workers of standard face masks. Due to the still rising demand, the Philippines still imports protective masks.
Like other well-meaning Filipinos, particularly the poorest of the poor, we share the view of Go that the government must prioritize the purchase of locally-manufactured face masks to save jobs.
At the same time, the soft-spoken senator from Mindanao called on the government to distribute free face masks to those who cannot afford to buy their own masks due to grinding poverty.
By patronizing locally-made face masks, we are on track addressing the worsening joblessness problem and lack of protective masks in this impoverished Southeast Asian nation of election-crazy people.