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Business

PPE makers want long-term procurement plan

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — 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 a law.

In a statement yesterday, 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 (DTI), which is working with the Department of Health and Department of Budget and 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 welcome the move of lawmakers who support local manufacturers of critical products to reduce dependence on imports.

“We hope Bayanihan 2, once effective, is further realized with actual government procurement, but most importantly is for concerned government agencies to implement a long term strategic procurement plan with local suppliers of medical grade PPE to build a sustainable supply base, and assure the health security of the country during this current and future health crisis,” the groups said.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the agencies are working on aligning PPE demand requirements, timing of procurement, and flow of production to support local manufacturing.

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 Lopez’s call that such products are needed to address the coronavirus disease 2019.

At present, the group can produce 57.6 million medical grade face masks and three million coveralls per month.

Through the investment, CPMP has allowed 7,450 to keep their jobs.

CPMP is willing to invest another $36 million to double its capacity and create 4,000 jobs, but challenges on the demand side, particularly from the government need to be addressed first before expanding.

CPMP president Lawrence delos Santos said earlier the government, the biggest customer for PPEs, sources most of its requirements from overseas.

He said including locally manufactured PPE in the government’s procurement plan would help the industry.

By getting PPEs from local manufacturers, he said the government would also be assured of the quality of products being used as CPMP’s products comply with the highest standard requirements having secured certifications and gone through testing conducted by third party international laboratories.

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