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BOI approves P9.6-M face mask producer as demand surge

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The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application for registration of Ipolymer Solutions Corporation, as a domestic manufacturer of face masks, which is an essential product for Filipinos amid the prevailing pandemic.  

“The country has been reeling from ramifications of the pandemic, exacerbated by the emergence of new variants. With the entry of another domestic player for the manufacturing of facial masks, it is pivotal for the country’s capacity to cater to the rising demand of the public,” said BOI Chairman and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. 

With an estimated cost of Php9.6 million, the project has an annual capacity of 13.2 million KN 95 face masks and 26.4 million surgical masks.  Located in Caloocan City, the project was approved for complying with the qualification requirements for classified “All Qualified Activities Relating to the Fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic – Essential Goods” Listing of the 2020 IPP as the transitional Strategic Investment Priorities Plan (SIPP), which also covers Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE) Law.  

“Since the outset of the pandemic, the BOI has been at the forefront of harnessing the Philippine manufacturing capacity amid the present global health crisis including through the repurposing project for Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), disinfectants, and ventilators; and industrial coordination to ensure that oxygen is available across all hospitals in the country,” the Secretary added.  

To date, the BOI has registered two projects in 2020 for the production of face masks: Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation in Marilao, Bulacan with 15.6 million capacity and Nagaland Development Corp in Naga City with 2.4 million capacity, both per year. 

Notably, the market for facial masks notched unprecedented growth, as governments around the world, including the Philippines, require the wearing of face masks as part of the minimum health requirements. Based on the guidelines published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the single-use mark should not be reused and is required to be replaced.   

Augmenting the production of the locally produced mask, the project will increase the monthly production capacity of face masks in the country by 3.3 million. The project, however, will import 100 percent of its raw materials requirement. The increasing production of medical-grade face masks entails additional importation of raw materials (non-woven fabric), which might help the national government to promote investments in the production of these raw materials in the country. 

“This goes to show that we can Make it Happen in the Philippines, as the BOI has been the catalyst for a modern economy as we recover from the pandemic. Thus, we invite other mask-producing companies to invest here in the Philippines to further fill the gaps in providing more affordable critical PPEs to Filipinos,” added BOI Managing Head and DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo. 

“During these difficult times – be it natural calamities or global health crises— the local capability to supply critical and strategic products such as medical-grade face masks is crucial and serves as a reminder of the importance of developing our domestic manufacturing industry,” concluded Sec. Lopez.

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