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Hairstylists provide free service for medical frontliners

A group offers free haircuts for frontliners in Quezon City as a way to express their appreciation for services rendered amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the Stand for Truth report by JM Encinas on  Wednesday.

The hairstylists, in this case, are volunteers wearing personal protective equipment or PPE.

"Masaya po kahit sa maliit na kaparaanan namin bilang isang stylist, nakatulong kami kahit papaano," said Icho Ilagan, who has been working as a barber for seven years.

Ilagan could not work since the enhanced community quarantine was implemented by the government.

With the volunteer work, he is given an allowance.

Ilagan admitted that he was initially nervous as he may be infected with the virus while doing volunteer work.

"Nag-isip rin po ako kaya lang may safety naman po kaming sinusunod, magaan rin naman po 'yung ginagawa namin doon na may sinusunod po kaming mga proseso na ingat na lang. Yung mga doktor din po ang nagsa-suggest," Ilagan said.

The organizers of the project said give volunteers an allowance, provide free shuttle service, ensure their safety by implementing a strict protocol such as physical distancing.

The tools used by the volunteers are thoroughly washed and disinfected after each haircut by a designated disinfecting team.

They also make sure they have the proper permits issued by the hospitals that they visit. The makeshift salons are also located away from the hospital wards.

The Philippine Barbers Group, however, has expressed alarm over the set-up, saying this may pose as a danger to the volunteers.

"Delikado po 'yan sa mga barbero dahil mismo nahahawakan nila 'yung customer. Hindi naman masamang tumulong sa mga kapwa natin na nasa hospital," said Jazz Tan, the founder of the group.

"Hindi po ako pabor sa gan'un na may mga araw na dapat bigyan ng free haircut sa takdang panahon kumbaga," he added.

The Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is not against the project as long as quarantine protocol is in place. --- Joahna Lei Casilao/BAP, GMA News

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