Gives jobs to displaced workers #SOSCebu produces PPEs for frontliners
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - April 7, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  With shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) products, a group of Cebuanos are now manufacturing this essential need in an ongoing fight to arrest the spread of the coronavirus.

A coalition called #SOSCebu aims to produce locally-made PPEs, in coordination with multi-sectoral groups and individuals, to equip frontliners with proper PPEs, as they continue to treat people affected by the pandemic.

The #SOSCebu is a coalition of Cebuanos driven by its mission to come together and help out as one community in the fight against COVID-19.

It is a movement that coordinates ways and means for Cebuanos to aid frontliners, first responders and essential workers. It also intends to better allocate and channel resources by aiming to match various donors, organizations and local makers of PPE with the different needs of hospitals, health care centres and the marginalized.

The Coalition, led by lady entrepreneur Laurice Chiongbian, saw the need to promote sustainable manufacturing. This helps out healthcare workers and frontliners and provides livelihood to those that need it at the same time seeks to stabilize supply during the quarantine period.

With the global impact of this health crisis and unprecedented disruption to businesses, one of the advocacies and functions of #SOSCebu is to help out other sectors that are affected, such as the daily wage earners and unemployed in the manufacturing industry. With the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worldwide, delay in supply from overseas.

With the support of the private sector, the initial efforts of #SOSCebu's production side, which focuses on coverall suits and impermeable gowns for now, have resulted in keeping over 120 workers employed at seven (7) local manufacturing companies and SMEs across four (4) of Cebu’s cities and towns, while having produced over 1,000 pieces of much-needed PPE coverall suits in the past seven days. It aims to grow these numbers even more in the coming weeks.

Significantly, its PPE production side (coverall suits and impermeable gowns) advocates for sustainable manufacturing.

“We have been able to get manufacturers on board with our advocacy, which is really to help sustain their people through this economic downturn, while helping frontliners. So we have essentially combined the community outreach initiative with the frontliners’ needs,” Chiongbian said in an interview yesterday via facebook messenger.

She said each suit will feed a family of five based on direct labor cost.

The production of PPEs for #SOSCebu’s Operation PPE Unit is supported by companies and individuals lIke VICSAL Foundation, Aboitiz Family and Friends, Philippines Light Leather Inc., Audrey Puckett, Mary Anne Arculli, Sheen Hok Charitable Foundation (hk), Guangdong-HK-Macau Greater Bay Area Industry &Commerce Federation, Carmen Fernandez Beaves, RAFI, Cebu Home Builders, RDC-7, DOH, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the generous guidance of Dr. Wyben Briones, AMRO, Dr. Karen Woolbright, and Dr. Henry Chua.

The movement, initiated by Dr. Chua and RDC-7's Kenneth Cobonpue, saw the need for a central coordinating group to manage the flow of communication—for the coordination and coalition side.

Public relations and events company Bigseed, led by Jaja Chiongbian Rama is also part of the team, along with restaurateur Kristine Kokseng. The core group on the manufacturing side is led by Joan Young Tiu, Marylou Neri and Vivien Go Luzurriaga.

The #SOSCebu Community and Coalition, which is open to everyone to connect people, consolidate efforts and coordinate ways and means for Cebuanos to help out as one community. It’s a hashtag everyone can use so everyone can see calls for donations, appeals for assistance, in order to link up as needed.

The #SOSCebu Community is open to all. Use the hashtag to alert us of existing PPE manufacturing efforts, calls for donation, appeals for assistance, and any Covid-19 related community issues that need to be raised so that the entire Cebuano community's effort can be collated in one place.

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