From shoes to face masks: Marikina shoemakers shift production amid COVID-19 crisis
Aileen Cerrudo • May 14, 2020 • 1229
All stores in Marikina City are temporarily closed due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) implemented in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Roweliza Landicho, owner of the Roweliza Shoes and Bags store, had to look for other sources of income after their shop closed during the ECQ.
Their shoes and bags production has been suspended and Roweliza is worried not just for her family but for her employees as well.
After attending a webinar, she decided to shift from making shoes and bags to manufacturing face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Nakita ko po kasi na iyon ang parang in demand sa ngayon. Tapos, para magkaroon ng extra income pati po ang mga manggagawa namin (I saw that there is a demand for this and also for our workers to have extra income),“ she said.
She referred the designs of the PPE from the source data design of the Office of the Vice President and she learned the idea through the webinar of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“Sinubukan po namin gumamit mga local weaves para matulungan din natin ang mga local weavers para sabay-sabay makabangon sa kaniya-kaniyang industriya (We tried to use local weavers to also help them out, so that we can all recover together in our respective industries),“ Roweliza said.
Meanwhile, the Zapeteria Hub has begun making face masks using shoe designs. The face mask designs vary from sneakers, leather shoe design, and others.
The face masks, which are washable, have pockets where one can put filters for extra protection.
Zapateria Hub owner Unyx Sta. Ana said they still want to retain their trademark.
“Syempre ang Marikina ay kilala sa pagsasapatos. Kung gagawa man kami ng masks ay gusto namin na mailabas pa rin ang elemento ng sapatos (Of course Marikina City is known for shoes. If we are to make face masks, we still want to retain the ‘shoe element),‘” he said.
They have already received numerous orders from business owners like salons and barbershops.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)
MANILA, Philippines — The first batch of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, China-based Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac, finally arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Sunday afternoon (February 28).
In a small ceremony, key government officials led by President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the arrival of 600,000 doses of donated vaccines from Beijing.
“I convey my sincere gratitude to the Chinese people and the government of China for this gesture of friendship and solidarity,” President Rodrigo Duterte said at the ceremony.
The president reiterated that “vaccines should be treated as a global public good and be made available to all.”
“I’m confident more batches of vaccine will be available with great dispatch until every Filipino will be given the chance to get vaccinated,” he said.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the arrival of Sinovac vaccine — the first COVID-19 vaccine to reach the Philippines — has sparked hope that the pandemic is nearing its end.
“That plane is carrying hope that we can finally return to our lives and light for our very dark journey,” Roque said.
“Masayang masaya po, buong Pilipinas po nagdiriwang, patapos na po ang pandemya, nariyan na ang bakuna,” Roque said.
“Makakabalik na tayo sa ating mga [dating buhay]. Nagsimula na po tayo, tuloy-tuloy na po tayo,” he added.
Health workers in the National Capital Region are expected to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines by March 1. —/mbmf
MANILA, Philippines—The United Kingdom (UK) government has declined the offer of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to deploy more nurses to the UK in exchange for vaccines.
UK Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce said the recruitment of nurses and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines are two separate issues.
“We’ve got no plans to link vaccines with those conversations around the recruitment of nurses. You know those two strands of conversation I think continue but as I’ve said again we have no plans to link those two issues,” he said during a virtual conference.
DOLE Silvestre Bello III proposed forming an agreement with the UK to lift the deployment cap of healthcare workers, provided the UK would allocate vaccines for them. Bello also made the same proposal with Germany.
DOLE Information and Publication Service (IPS) Director Rolly Francia clarified the proposal was to make sure the nurses are safe when deployed abroad and not for the country to have additional supply of COVID-19 vaccines. This was after the proposal drew ire for making nurses look like ‘commodities’ to be exchanged for vaccines.
“What Secretary Bello wants is to ensure that the nurse gets vaccinated if ever the request for an exemption in the cap would be granted by the President,” Francia said.
Nevertheless, Ambassador Pruce said he will meet with Bello in the coming weeks to further discuss the issue. AAC(with reports from Janice Ingente)
MANILA, Philippines – Several senators are pushing for the conduct of pilot testing of face-to-face classes, citing the need for immediate experience to help fine-tune the reopening of physical classes in schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Senator Francis Pangilinan urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to pilot the in-person classes to an initial 100 schools instead of the suggested 1,605.
“Kung mayroong UK variant at natatakot doon sa pagkalat, e di bawasan natin ang pilot areas, gawin nating isang daan muna. Ang importante, mayroon tayong pagkukunan ng karanasan ngayon pa lang at hindi iyong pagdating doon sa dulo saka natin gagawin dahil nakaangkla tayo sa isang libo,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan earlier said that they initially chose 1,065 schools, or five schools per division, to participate in the dry run of face-to-face classes.
Malaluan said that this figure is equivalent to only over two percent of the more than 47,000 public schools in the country.
“Baka naman pupuwedeng mayroon kayong alternative just to be able to get a system going and be able to fine-tune. Ang importante napa-pilot at nakikita iyong mga gaps so that when you expand it even to 1,065, you already have the experience of 500 or 300 to work around and to work on the necessary adjustments,” Pangilinan said.
“We need the experience now, we need the lessons drawn now because we don’t have the luxury of time,” he added.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairperson of Senate committee on basic education, arts, and culture, also expressed support for the dry run of in-person classes.
“’’Di naman po ibig sabihin na kinancel yung face-to-face, titigil na rin tayo sa pilot schools. This is a good way for our scientists to study what can be done to mitigate the effects of COVID-19,” he said in a separate statement.
DepEd earlier proposed the pilot testing of limited face-to-face classes in 1,605 schools, citing an internal DepEd survey that clamor is from the learners themselves.
The pilot testing was scheduled in January but it was postponed by President Rodrigo Duterte due to the continuing threat of COVID-19.
DepEd made a fresh bid for the resumption of physical classes in areas classified as low-risk for COVID-19 transmission this month, citing a survey that showed more than 50% of students were in favor of attending face-to-face classes.
It was still rejected by Duterte as he stressed that classes will only resume once the vaccination against COVID-19 starts.
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