After making government procurement of of locally produced personal protective equipment (PPEs) mandatory through a provision under the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, the Department of Trade and Industry is now targeting ordinary Filipinos to patronize local products as production sharply increases.
Ceferino Rodolfo, DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head, said “The upsurge in PPE now being produced in the Philippines is great news, for the health and economic well-being of the country.”
Philippine manufacturers are now producing 60 million face masks every month, compared to only 6 million in January – an increase of 900% – with the expectation that this will rise to 66.4 million before 2020 is out.
It could be recalled that amid severe shortages of PPE at the start of the pandemic, the BOI kick-started started a scheme to encourage manufacturers to repurpose their production lines towards producing face masks, gowns and other items needed in the fight against Covid-19.
Elsewhere, 3.2 million medical grade coveralls are now being domestically produced each month, where previously none had been. Likewise, Philippine companies now manufacture 6,050 ventilators per month, whereas before all ventilators were imported. 60,000 IR thermometers – used to screen people for high temperature – are also being produced at home each calendar month.
A range of companies based in the Philippines have been involved in the effort. They include the likes of EMS and Everwin – electronics manufacturers who have repurposed their factories to produce face masks and thermometers respectively – as well as spirits manufacturer Destileria Limtuaco, who have recently turned to producing ethyl alcohol (a vital ingredient for hand sanitiser).
Major automotive factory Hyundai have also taken advantage of the initiative, with their Philippine factories producing much needed masks.
On the back of this upsurge, the government has today encouraged Philippine organisations, across the public and private sector, to take advantage of domestic PPE supplies.
Locally produced PPE has not only helps out in the fight against Covid-19, but helps Philippine manufacturers stay afloat amid the economic impact of the pandemic, protecting thousands of jobs for ordinary Filipinos.
“I urge all organisations to ‘buy local’ and source their PPE from factories based in the Philippines, wherever it’s possible. Every time someone buys an item of PPE made here, they not only help protect people, they help save thousands of jobs and keep food on the table of families across our nation,” said Rodolfo.
Rodolfo said that BOI will keep doing everything we can to support more manufacturers to contribute their production lines to this effort.
Cathy Mao of Everwin Philippines, who have been involved in the repurposing efforts, said:
“We have been delighted to work with BOI in repurposing our traditional production lines towards helping the Philippines fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Every item that leaves our factories helps sustain our business and the jobs of our employees in this difficult time.”