MANILA, Philippines – After more than two months of nightly online concerts which raised over P131 million in donations, and providing food packs to more than 100,000 urban poor families, the Bayanihan Musikahan (BM) Coalition is now embarking on a new livelihood initiative for the poor.
The project, dubbed as Mask4AllPH, will set up face mask production hubs in urban poor communities, using donated fabric waste as raw material.
“The Department of Health considers wearing of face masks as the ‘new normal.’ This will dramatically increase the demand for face masks and will become an added expense to the poor who are already reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, this situation creates an opportunity to create livelihood for the poor and revitalize the community economy,” said BM convenor Danilo Songco.
Mask4AllPH aims to provide free masks to urban poor families. The project will help communities establish and manage their own production hubs to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for their community members.
“We are now working with 5 communities in Payatas, Commonwealth, Montalban, Taytay, and Cavite, and we have so far produced 1,000 face masks. Sewers are paid per piece for each good quality washable mask they produce,” Songco said.
The project aims to produce over 10,000 masks in the next two weeks. These will be distributed for free to urban poor families in Metro Manila with a family of 5 receiving 10 masks each.
Stage 2 of the project will introduce a “buy 1, give 1 scheme” which will give the public access to the masks and an opportunity to donate another from among the identified beneficiaries.
Aside from Mask4AllPH, Bayanihan Musikahan is also leveling up community eateries to produce hygienic and nutritious food in poor communities. (READ: Group champions inclusive food supply chain during lockdown)
“We are subsidising the funding for carinderias at the moment but the idea is for them to survive even if we pull out. We want it to develop into a commercial model so that the carinderias can eventually be a cooked food supplier to offices and other commercial establishments, thereby generating more jobs in the community,” Songco shared. – Rappler.com
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