Prioritize local PPEs: BOI

    A factory that used to make pants now makes PPEs. (Reuters photo)

    Hospitals and other institutions have been urged to prioritize in their procurement locally-manufactured personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and coveralls whose capacities have surged exponentially.

    In a statement, Board of Investments (BOI) managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said medical institutions should also consider procuring ventilators to be produced locally by Ayala-owned electronics firm IMI.

    Rodolfo said the country’s capacity to produce face masks has risen 900 percent to 60 million pieces per month from just 6 million in January and will further rise to 66.4 million per month by the end of the year.

    From zero, the country also now produces 3.2 million pieces of medical-grade coveralls.

    IMI will also soon start making ventilators at 6,050 per month. The country currently imports all its ventlators.

    Rodolfo also said the country also now has a capacity to produce 60,000 pieces of IR thermometers.

    More manufacturers are joining the BOI’s campaign for the production of products that help in the fight against the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    These include Korean automotive firm Hyundai; Bioteq, a Taiwanese medical device manufacturer and TACCA Group of Australia, a packaging products manufacturer . All plan to produce masks.

    Some companies which have earlier repurposed their production lines towards items needed in the fight against COVID-19 include electronics manufacturers EMS and Everwin which produce face masks and thermometers, respectively.

    Rodolfo said local production of these products not only helps out in the fight against the disease, but helps manufacturers stay afloat amid the economic impact of the pandemic, protecting thousands of jobs.