From greeting cards to abaca face masks, local company joins COVID-19 fight

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2020   •   899

In response to the limited supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs), a local company in Misamis Oriental decided to make face masks out of abaca.

The transition has not been easy, according to Neil Rafisura, president of Salay Handmade Products Industry, Inc.

It takes numerous and tedious process in order to create a face mask out of abaca. This is a challenge for Neil especially with the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

They are used to creating greeting cards and other similar products. It never crossed their minds before that their company would make any PPEs such as face masks. However, that did not stop them from helping the country’s frontliners in their fight against the COVID-19 virus.

“At first it’s very challenging because ang skills namin ay hindi ready (our skills were not ready), it involved a lot of sewing but then there are a few workers who know how to sew, so tinawag ko sila at nag-experiment kami, (so I called them and we did an experiment),” he said.

Based on initial research abaca face masks are seven times better than cloth face masks. Even though it will not surpass surgical and N95 face masks yet, Neil is optimistic that the abaca face masks would help frontliners and even ordinary citizens against the virus.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 10 said this is a great start for further research. They are also encouraging experts to look into the potential of abaca face massks.

“We are calling researchers kung gusto niyo mag-research about mask (if you want to research about mask) why not study with abaca face mask kasi mayroon na siyang initial study baka maging potential talaga at effective na face mask itong abaca, (because there is already an initial study and abaca face mask might have a potential and might be more effective)” according to DOST-10 Science Research Specialist 1 Julie Ann Baculio.

The abaca face masks is environmental-friendly, reusable and can be hand-washed. It is sold for P90 apiece. AAC (with reports from Weng Fernandez)

Tourism Dept., may paalala sa mga magbabakasyon sa Boracay

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Muli nang binuksan ngayong araw ang isla ng Boracay para sa mga turista matapos ang mahigit anim na buwang pagsasara bunsod ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ibig sabihin, maaari nang bumisita sa isla ang mga nais mag-bakasyon. Ngunit paalala ng Department of Tourism (DOT), may mga requirement na kailangang sundin.

Batay sa ibinabang panuntunan ng DOT, ang mga magbabakasyon sa Boracay ay obligadong sumailalim sa RT-PCR test para sa COVID-19, at ipakita ang dokumentong nagpapatunay na negatibo sila sa virus dalawa hanggang tatlong araw bago ang petsa ng kanilang biyahe.

Habang hinihintay ang resulta ng test, dapat ding sumailalim sa quarantine ang pasahero hanggang sa araw ng kanilang biyahe.

Sinabi rin ni Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat na kailangang may kumpirmadong booking ang pasahero sa alinman sa 200 accredited hotels sa Boracay.

“Pwede ngang galing sa NCR at saka no age restrictions. Of course, ang importante pala, kailangan naka-book ka sa isang hotel. Lahat ng hotel doon dapat DOT-accredited hotel kasi ‘yon ay pumasa sa health and safety protocols ng DOT,” ang wika ni Romulo-Puyat.

Payo ng kalihim sa mga biyahero, alamin sa website ng DOT ang iba pang requirement bago sila magbiyahe upang maiwasan ang aberya.

Kasabay ng pagbubukas ng turismo sa isla ay ibinalik na rin ang biyahe ng mga eroplano patungong Boracay.

Dalawa hanggang tatlong flight schedules kada linggo ang inilaan ng Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific at Air Asia.

Ayon kay Michelle Lim, ang Corporate Communications Specialist ng Cebu Pacific Air, kakaunti lang ang bumiyahe pa-Boracay ngayong araw ngunit inaasahan na nila ito lalo’t marami ang nangangamba sa kanilang kaligtasan sa gitna ng pandemiya.

“The flight was about, it had about 10 percent of the seats occupied. The load kasi are building pa at the moment. In the next few weeks or months, as more people are inspired to travel as well and are assured that everything is safe and everything is all set for them, then it would encourage them to go out and travel,” ang pahayag ni Lim.

Paalala rin ng mga otoridad na mahigpit pa ring ipinatutupad ang health protocols gaya ng pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield, physical distancing at minimum contact upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19.

Nanawagan rin ang airline companies sa mga pasahero na alamin ang updated travel restrictions at regulations na inilalatag ng pamahalaan sa gitna ng nararanasang krisis. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

QC requires helmets for bike-riding public

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 1, 2020

Under the new normal, the Quezon City government is requiring bicycle riders to wear helmets while traversing roads in the city.

Mayor Joy Belmonte approved Ordinance No. SP-2942 to further encourage bike-riders to wear helmets as protection, especially with more people traveling by bicycle.

“Ngayong bahagi na ng new normal ang pagbibisikleta, nais nating gawing mas ligtas ang aktibidad na ito para sa mga dumadaan sa ating lungsod, (Since biking is part of the new normal, we want this activity to be safe for everyone travelling in our city),” she said.

The ordinance sets penalties imposing fines of P1,000, P3,000 and P5,000 for the first, second and third offense, respectively.

Belmonte recently initiated the implementation of a Bike Lane Project to provide a safe place for people who have shifted to biking as an alternative means of transportation amid the community quarantine. AAC

Cavite gov’t to allow visits to cemeteries until Oct. 27

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2020

The provincial government of Cavite on Thursday announced that it will allow visits to cemeteries from October 1 to 27 but laid down some rules for those planning to do so to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

In a Facebook post, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said the cemeteries in the province are open during said period from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. but will be closed from October 28 to November 2 as agreed by local authorities.

He also warned visitors that eating meals and drinking alcoholic beverages inside the cemeteries are prohibited. Videokes and selling of food are also not allowed.

“Bawal po ang kainan kahit sa mga pribado at sosyal na libingan. Mga alta, matutong makisama. Kung bawal ang kainan, lalong bawal ang inuman at lasingan,” Remulla said.

“Bawal maglako ng mga pagkain at inumin sa sementeryo,” he added.

The governor said the municipal and city government will also issue regulations on the number of persons allowed to enter the cemeteries in their respective areas.

He stressed that visitors should strictly observe health protocols including the wearing of face mask and face shield.

“Kailangan naka-face mask at face shield. Mag-ingat lamang sa mga aksidente lalo na sa pagsindi ng kandila dahil ang face shield ay gawa sa plastic,” Remulla said.

He likewise emphasized that those below 18 years of age are not allowed to go to cemeteries.

“Ang mga bata below 18 years old ay bawal pumunta sa sementeryo. Alam ko na mahirap ito pero mas malakas mahawa at magkalat ng sakit ang mga kabataan kaysa matatanda,” Remulla explained.

“Dahil sa pandemya, ay kailangan pa rin nating paulit-ulit na ipaalala ang social distancing rules. Lagpas 10,000 na ang positibo sa COVID dito sa Cavite at malakas ang kutob ko na baka lalong kumalat ang sakit na ito ngayong papalapit na undas,” he added.

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