woman sewing washable face maskAddressing the problems in the locality amid this COVID-19 outbreak, the Kidapawan vendors, farmers, and drivers belonging to the Meidatrix Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MMPC) in North Cotabato equipped themselves to fill the lack of face mask supplies in the community.

Mobilizing the Department of Trade and Industry-funded Shared Service Facility (SSF) sewing machines, the Cooperative decided to halt their production of polo shirts and focused on sewing more reusable face masks, which are being provided to the local government units (LGUs), hospitals, and other frontliners.

Meanwhile, the women of Upper Glad 1 RIC, DTI’s SSF-Cooperator from Midsayap, Cotabato, have also ventured from customizing shirts to fabricating alternative face masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.group of people producing washable face masks

The SSF project on wearable and home-style donated to the organization was launched last February 14, 2020 as support to the women entrepreneurs in the locality to give them livelihood.

These women, along with their husbands, joined together in providing the needs of their fellow countrymen by doubling their working hours and workforce just to produce the necessary volume of washable face masks at a minimum cost, given to the communities,

medical personnel and other frontliners. The whole group works (seven) 7 days a week with extended night shifts if necessary.

The SSF Project is a major component of DTI’s MSME Development Program and aims to improve the competitiveness of MSMEs by providing them with machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge under a shared system.

Moreover, the efforts of the cooperatives in response to the current pandemic crisis are in line with the Department of Trade and Industry-Regional Operations Group’s (DTI-ROG) battlecry ‘Malasakit Laban Sa COVID-19’.

MSME Development Advocate Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona spearheads the Regional Operations Group and the SSF Program.♦

Date of Release: 28 April 2020