With her wiry knobbly hands, she steadily guides the thick colourful fabric along the precise pulse of the electric sewing machine. Occasionally blinking through her poor eyesight, she uses her muscle memory and skill in maneuvering through the sharp corners and delicate string of what will become a face mask.
She is Erlinda Pascual, 75-year-old resident of Harana, Luna, Isabela and an active member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) since 2012. She is the guardian of her grandchildren who are the monitored beneficiaries for education of the program.
Aside from 4Ps, she is also a beneficiary of the Bottom-Up-Budgeting (BUB) Project of the Local Government which provided for her skills training and livelihood development on making made-to-order gowns and uniforms. At first, she did not have her own machine, but eventually, she was able to save up buy her own.
When the Enhanced Community Quarantine was implemented, she became aware of the shortage of protective equipment for frontliners on the news and decided to take action. She immediately gathered left-over fabric from her previous projects and started sewing, eventually producing 130 pieces until her materials ran out. She then requested for the Municipal Action Team to distribute the face masks in their town.
She says that everyone can contribute in their own ways to help in these trying times and despite her age, she has proven her importance in the fight against the pandemic.