Not even the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic can crush the Filipinos’ bayanihan spirit as many of us go out of our way to help our medical frontliners and marginalized sectors who currently have no income due to the enhanced community quarantine that most of the country is implementing to flatten the curve.
In Kananga, Leyte, members of the Lim-ao Integrated Farmers for Empowerment (LIFE), have temporarily shifted from farming and bags production to making face masks for local residents and barangay health workers to aid in the shortage of face masks that are badly needed by our frontliners today.
Formed and assisted by Lopez-owned geothermal leader, Energy Development Corporation (EDC), LIFE’s alternative livelihood happened upon EDC’s recommendation.
“We asked if they can make face masks that we can buy and distribute to our partner communities in Kananga and in Ormoc since they have sewing machines to produce the school bags that we order for the students in our partner schools,” said Erwin Magallanes, head of EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility team in Leyte. “ LIFE agreed and immediately started working on it.”
EDC has initially placed an order of 1,000 face masks, which are made of cloth and are washable, for distribution to its host communities. Each mask costs P20.
“COVID-19 has also affected our livelihood but we want to help our frontliners who are risking their lives out there to save lives, just as EDC has also committed to continuously provide power mainly for their sake,” said LIFE’s president, Marilyn Tarranza.. “We strictly follow the Department of Health’s precautionary measures such as social distancing and frequent washing of hands to protect ourselves as we produce the masks.”
Also a member of local cooperative, Partners Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC), LIFE is exploring the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) aside from face masks that will be sold to local companies and hospitals in Ormoc, Leyte. The Rotary Club of Ormoc is already requesting for 500 pieces of PPE.
EDC’s Leyte geothermal facility that straddles between Ormoc City and the Municipality of Kananga currently supplies more than 30% of the country’s installed geothermal capacity. It is also responsible for putting EDC and the Philippines on the map as the world’s 3rd largest geothermal producer. The company has recently reiterated its commitment to provide uninterrupted power to its customers in support of our country’s fight against COVID-19.