14 July 2021, Legazpi City, the Philippines – The City of Legazpi in the Philippines received 4,970 washable face masks from UN-HABITAT Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
The donation is a part of masks made by the people of Kumamoto, Japan, who were forced to take a leave of absence and/or stay home due to COVID-19, and were widely distributed to communities in need. In the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals’ promise to “leave no one behind”, this initiative supported people’s living and contributed to the prevention of COVID-19.
The masks are made of different fabrics and come in different sizes to fit a wide range of individuals. They are also washable and can be reused to avoid waste. As of 6 July 2021, the masks have been distributed to 3,248 individuals in 44 urban barangays (villages) of the city, while 1,128 have been shared with the staff of the Office of City Environment and Natural Resources that includes streetsweepers, garbage collectors, and sanitary land fill personnel. The remaining masks are still subject for dispatch. The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), which leads the city’s task force on COVID-19 response, spearheaded the equitable distribution of the personal protective equipment to frontline recipients.
Aligned to national guidelines on COVID-19 safety protocols, wearing of face masks is mandated in Legazpi City. As of 5 July 2021, the city recorded a total of 1, 830 COVID-19 cases of which 902 are still sick, with 27 deaths. The city recorded consistent rise in number of cases in the last two weeks and is considered as an area of concern nationally. The city is under stricter lockdown protocols until 15 July 2021 to help decrease the cases.
“To the people of Kumamoto in Japan, our heartfelt gratitude goes to all of you for remembering us, Legazpeños. Your act of kindness and thoughtfulness has gone a long way for us, thank you. Our thanks also goes to the UN-Habitat ROAP for the facilitation,” said Miladee Azur of CDRRMO.
The City of Legazpi is an active local partner of UN-HABITAT under the Government of Japan-funded Healthy Oceans and Clean Cities Initiative (HOCCI) which supports cities in localizing actions to reduce marine plastic litter.