Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso on Monday revealed he copied an initiative by the Czech Republic, which intends to provide masks for all, according to a Facebook post by the Manila Public Information Office (MPIO).
Manila was able to create and distribute hundreds of thousands of face masks while also creating new jobs for unemployed sewers.
This was made possible through Domagoso's livelihood program for sewers and tailors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the program, the city government will employ sewers to create washable face masks which will be distributed to Manila residents for free, according to the MPIO.
Earlier, the local government of Manila said it is ready to purchase P200 million worth of COVID-19 vaccines anytime they become available this year, after Domagoso signed on August 6 an ordinance appropriating the budget from the city’s current funds.
The newly-signed Ordinance 8659 will allow the city to buy COVID-19 vaccines when they are on the market, after the city’s treasurer certified that a P200 million fund “is already available and [has] been set aside” for the remaining months of the year 2020.
Domagoso said this meant the local government does not have to wait for the passage of the 2021 budget to procure COVID-19 vaccines.
Initially, the mayor said he asked Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and members of the city council to appropriate and set aside P200 million from the 2021 budget.
However, Domagoso said, “It turns out that the Manila City government already has available funds…for the immediate procurement of COVID-19 vaccines should it become available this year.”
“I want our city to have these COVID-19 vaccines, like how we are able to provide free COVID-19 mass testing—efficient, accessible, and free for all,” he added.