PH seeks investments in anti-COVID products


    The Philippines strives to attract manufacturers of products that are essential in the fight against the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

    The government is encouraging India to make the Philippines its hub of manufacturing of pharmaceutical products in Southeast Asia, especially at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Philippine ambassador to India Ramon Bagatsing Jr. in a webinar urged the conclusion of the cooperation in medical products regulation between the Food and Drug Administration and India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to make it easier for Indian pharmaceuticals to locate to Philippines.

    Two companies are supplying 90 percent of the possible COVID-19 treatment drug remdesivir in the Philippines and two other companies would like to provide these medicines.

    Bagatsing said he expects India to allocate these medicines and the vaccine to the Philippines as part of its Act East policy. The webinar on “Exploring Business Opportunities between India and the Philippines Part 1: Opportunities in the Pharmaceutical Industry” was held last August 6 and organized by World Trade Centers in Metro Manila and in Mumbai.

    “Maybe India’s hesitation is the scale. But think of the Asean market, not just the Philippine market. Our country will be a good, if not the best, hub to manufacture. We have a lot of natural ingredients that have found their way to pharmaceuticals like moringa/malunggay, yellow ginger, virgin coconut oil, and others,” said Senen Perlada, director of the Export Marketing Bureau at the webinar.

    Meanwhile, the Board of Investments (BOI) is assisting manufacturers to repurpose their operations by through product development, logistics, production systems, and access to raw materials and skilled workforce for the production of alcohol disinfectants, ready-to-wear garments transformed into protective uniforms, or even medical gloves fashioned from rubber balloons.

    Australian-based packaging firm Tacca Industries is the latest to expand the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the Philippines. Tacca is hiring 100 workers in it plant in Laguna.

    Tacca adds to the growing list of for medical-grade face masks MedTecs, Yokoisada Philippines Corp., EMS, New Kinpo Group, EWIC Philippines whichhave a combined apacity of 40 million masks per month; a

    Non-medical masks Unisol and Silver Dragon Resources Medical PPEs BFS Health Corp., Baller Sportswear Corp., Avant Gard North Innovations Inc., North Pacific Knitting and Endless Knitting.