Monday, June 24, 2024

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Trade Chief supports local manufacturers of PPEs, vows to ramp up buy Filipino campaign

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Filipinos making PPEs at Yokoisada (Phils.) Corporation manufacturing facilities in Clark
Photo file from Yokoisada (Phils.) Corporation

By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

With the palpable dependence of the Department of Health on the imported personal protective equipment (PPE), local manufacturers raised their concerns on the proliferation of imported and cheaper but substandard personal protective equipment (PPE) from China and other countries that do not only endanger the lives of our healthcare workers and other frontliners, but also the people who buy these items.

In the statement sent to THEPHILBIZNEWS, Department of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, clarified that the Philippine Government and the Confederation of Philippine Manufacturers of PPE (CPMP) have been actively collaborating towards the shared objective of providing world-class Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to our medical frontliners and to Filipinos in general.

“The Department of Trade and Industry’s Board of Investments (DTI-BOI) and the Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service (DBM-PS) have endeavored to have provisions in the Bayanihan II for preference to locally-manufactured, internationally-certified PPEs. And we thank our Legislators for including these during the Bicameral conference,” the Trade Chief said.

“Currently, the DTI is coordinating with the CPMP and the Department of Health (DOH) and the DBM-PS on the implementation of Bayanihan II—anticipating its signing by the President; as well as on aligning PPE demand requirements, the timing of procurement, and flow of production,” the statement said.

As for the Trade Chief, he underscored, “We continue to work with the industry to further strengthen the Manufacturing Repurposing program that we started to build the country’s PPE Ecosystem to lessen dependence on imports of these critical medical products,  including filling-in the remaining value chain gaps (e.g. linking polypropylene resin producers with non-woven medical grade fabric manufacturers), attracting investments in important support services (e.g. local PPE testing laboratories), and developing an online real-time platform for matching supply and demand (including from private hospitals,” Lopez said.

“Again, we thank the CPMP members for responding to the call of the government to repurpose part of their manufacturing capacities towards local production of internationally-certified medical-grade PPEs and in the process saving over 7,000 jobs and creating more opportunities for Filipino workers, Secretary Lopez added.

DTI emphasizes that we have always been pushing for patronizing local manufacturers in sourcing PPEs in the government procurement process. Thus, we also thank the Senate and House of Representatives for incorporating our proposals in the Bayanihan II and their continued support of our local manufacturers; as well as our partners from the DOH and DBM-PS.

The Department stresses its thrust in saving Filipino jobs, providing income opportunities, and inducing bigger demand to restimulate the economy amid the pandemic. These are all in line with the government’s strengthened call for “Ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay”.

“We are able to save jobs every time the country buys local products. If we buy imported products, we save jobs in other countries.” Sec. Lopez concluded.

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