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  • Diaper As Protective Mask? DOH Says You Can Even Use Underwear As Substitute

    by Rachel Perez .
Diaper As Protective Mask? DOH Says You Can Even Use Underwear As Substitute
PHOTO BY courtesy of Kevin Pamatmat/Facebook
  • If there is one thing you can say about Filipinos, they are resilient and maabilidad, and the eruption of Taal Volcano has put the Filipino people’s survival skills in the spotlight. 

    The shortage of protective masks — such as the recommended P3 and N95 masks, which can effectively filter air contaminated by ashfall — has forced citizens of Batangas, Cavite, and nearby towns in Laguna to use alternatives to protect themselves. (By the way, shame on those who hoarded face masks and sold them at jacked-up prices.)

    Kevin Pamatmat, the incumbent barangay councilor of Barangay Bayate, in Liliw, Laguna, shared on Facebook that he and his family has resorted to using pull-up diapers for face masks “dahil nagkakauubusan na.”

    As seen in his photos, the mesh side of the pull-up diaper goes to the nose and mouth area. The bottom part of the diaper goes over the head. His nephew also demonstrated how to use the diaper as a face mask — it’s just like wearing a cap


    Kevin tells SmartParenting.com.ph via a Facebook call that his post was meant for lighthearted fun, but it also proves that Filipinos are resourceful. “Sa ganitong kapanahunan, lumalabas yung pagkamalikhain ng mga Pilipino,” Pamatmat shared.

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    In fact, the Department of Health (DOH) assistant secretary Ma. Francia Laxamana, suggested bras and panties as substitutes to face masks aside from diapers, GMA News reports. 

    “Meron pa ibang creative ways of doing things. Isa po yung kamiseta...Meron pong isang creative, yung bra at panty,” Laxamana told reporters at a news conference in Malacañang. “Puwede niyong basain ng konti para hindi kayo ma-suffocate,” she added.

    Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III later clarified that bras are not porous enough. They do not have enough space to breathe air through the fabric, Duque explained on GMA's Unang Balita. Damp handkerchieves or washcloths are better alternatives to face masks for protection from ashfall. 

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) also recommends using a wet cloth or towel to cover your nose and mouth to avoid breathing in volcanic ash. If using other clothes such as shirts and panties, or diapers, it's best to keep them damp as well.

    DOH warned of possible throat irritation, coughing, breathing discomfort, and minor skin problems as a result of inhalation ash fall contaminated air. Citizens most affected by the Taal Volcano eruption are advised to wear protection when going outdoors as the volcano remains in Alert Level 4 and continues to spew ash and smoke.

    This article was update on January 20, 2020 to add that bras are not recommended as alternatives to face masks. For more articles about the Taal volcano eruption, click here.

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