From the COVID-19 test kit developed by UP scientists, another essential item in the time of the pandemic has been created by a collaboration of Filipino organizations.
Power Fashion Inc. (PFI), the company behind the brands Bayo, Unica, and Viseversa, has entered into an agreement with Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) to deliver 500,000 face masks that will be used by frontliners in hospitals all over the country.
The project is also being fully supported by the local government of Taytay, Rizal which has prided itself as the garment capital of the Philippines.
“The masks will use a PTRI textile-coating technology for treatment and finishing. It will also collaborate with the Power Fashion Inc. to produce masks using local fiber textiles which will be donated by the latter,” DOST Sec. Fortunato dela Peña said in a Facebook post.
When Taal volcano erupted last January, PFI temporarily stopped operations in their factory in Taytay, Rizal to make face masks to be distributed in the different evacuation centers.
In order to make the face masks more adherent to liquid pathogens such as COVID-19, PFI submitted samples of the face masks to DOST-PTRI for trial.
PTRI applied a functional treatment developed at the DOST-PTRI Smartex laboratory to the fabric that would make it water repellent.
The face masks can be washed by as much as 50 times without losing its repellency factor. Once produced and released in the market, DOST-PTRI shall call the face mask as REwear.