San Miguel Corporation (SMC) will purchase the first 10,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) to be produced by a local garment manufacturer, as part of the PHP 500-million fund the company has earmarked to help protect medical frontliners battling COVID-19.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said that through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the company was able to source medical-grade PPEs for medical front liners, from member companies of the Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP).
“We thank the local manufacturers for heeding the call to produce PPEs for our hardworking medical frontliners, and the DTI for linking up those who need to buy these life-saving equipment and local companies that have the capability to produce them,” Ang said.
The DTI, through secretary Ramon Lopez, and the Board of Investments (BOI), has coordinated with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to develop a medical-grade PPE prototypes to be used during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PGH’s Hospital Infection Control Unit (HICU) said the PPE prototype has met its strict requirements.
The garment factories of CONWEP-member companies, for their part, will start producing the PPEs once the raw materials are shipped by April 9.
“We are asking more local manufacturers to come forward. We are in a race for time to save more lives and protect our medical workers who care for them. As soon as the ten thousand sets of PPEs are ready, we will immediately dispatch these to hospitals in dire need,” Ang added.
He also said that tapping local producers will also allow these companies to restart their manufacturing capacities and provide employment to their workers who have been affected by enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) implemented in Luzon to stop the spread of the virus.
SMC has also started sourcing PPEs through its global network of suppliers.
“Our health workers need our support now more than ever. We are supporting the government in its efforts and ask everyone to follow government regulations and stay at home to prevent more cases that could overwhelm our hospitals,” he added.
The company has also repurposed the manufacturing facilities of subsidiary Ginebra San Miguel, Inc. nationwide to produce 70% ethyl alcohol.
It has increased daily volume to 100,000 liters for distribution due to the lack of supply, and has donated over 500,000 liters of ethyl alcohol to various public and private hospitals, the DOH, local government units, the Philippine National Police and other vital institutions throughout Luzon.