Protecting local PPE
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Philippine manufacturers of medical grade personal protective equipment are hopeful the government will have a long-term procurement plan for locally made PPEs once the Bayanihan 2 bill becomes law.
The Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines and its affiliate, the Confederation of Philippine Manufacturers of PPE or CPMP said they appreciate the support of the Department of Trade and Industry as it works with the Department of Health and the Department of Budget Management – Procurement Service as it prepares for the grant of preference for locally made PPEs in government purchases under the Bayanihan 2 bill.
The groups also welcomed the move of lawmakers who support local manufacturers of critical products to reduce dependence on imports.
The CPMP composed of Medtecs International Corp. Ltd., EMS Components Assembly Inc., Reliance Producers Cooperative, Luen Thai International Group Philippines Inc., and Tacca Industries Pty Ltd from Australia, invested $35 million to repurpose a portion of their manufacturing facilities for PPE in response to the call of DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez for such products needed to address the COVID-19 crisis.
The group can presently produce 57.6 million medical grade face masks and 3 million coveralls per month and has managed to keep 7,450 jobs. Furthermore, they are willing to invest another $36 million to double capacity and create 4,000 jobs but they have met challenges on the demand side as the government, their biggest customer for PPEs, has inexplicably been sourcing most of its requirements from overseas.
A government that includes locally manufactured PPE in its procurement plan could help the industry, keep and create jobs, and boost the economy. Hopefully the attention that has been focused on this misguided policy of government can put our priorities in order and as long as the quality standards for the locally produced PPEs are met, more Filipinos, not just the importers, should benefit from this course of action.*