IN AN effort to protect the environment and help some of its residents recover financially, Angeles City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. recently launched a face mask livelihood program.

Lazatin said this program aims to promote reusable alternatives for face masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) while providing sustainable livelihood for marginalized sectors including solo parents, persons with disability (PWDs), stay-at-home parents, and women's groups.

"Ngayong panahon ng pandemya, marami sa mga kababayan natin ang naapektuhan ang mga kabuhayan. Kaya minabuti naming simulan itong livelihood program na ito, na pwedeng-pwede nilang gawin kahit sa kanilang mga tahanan," Lazatin said.

Under the program, Executive Assistant IV Reina Manuel said the City Government will hire home-based "mananahi" to produce reusable face masks and PPEs.

"Each 'mananahi' would also be required to have his or her sewing machine at home," Manuel said.

Meanwhile, all materials, such as fabric, bands, and thread shall be provided to the mananahi by the City Government and will be distributed and collected house-to-house by members of the Public Employment Services Office (Peso), Manuel added.

"The members of Peso are currently conducting ocular inspection in all applicants' houses, to assess the equipment used and the cleanliness of the surrounding," she added.

Irish Bonus-Llego, Angeles City Economic Development Investment and Promotions Office (Acedipo) officer-in-charge, said each mananahi is required to produce 250 face masks per week and 20 PPEs per month.

Peso Officer Maria Rosa Teodora Basilio also shared that they will be paid P4 per face mask and P300 per PPE.

"The payment for all finished items will be released every 15 days," Basilio said.

Lazatin said the City Government also plans to tap local designers to create designs and patterns for the face mask livelihood program.

"Nakatulong na sila sa programa natin, nai-promote pa natin yung talent at galing nila sa pagdidisenyo," Lazatin added.

Aside from providing sustainable living, the livelihood program also aims to encourage all Angeleños to observe social distancing and minimum public health measures by providing free reusable facemasks to vulnerable sectors.

It can be recalled that some of the livelihood programs currently being planned by the City Government include tinapa-making, basket weaving, eco-bag making, bigasan, and atchara-making. (PR)