MANILA — The Philippine government on Monday said it tapped a local organization to address the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the country.
During a televised briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) tapped the Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP) to produce 10,000 PPE coveralls daily.
DOH and the Philippine General Hospital approved the suit design.
During the briefing, Vergeire said that it is difficult to get medical grade materials for PPEs but CONWEP was able to find a supplier that sells materials that are up to par with international standards for waterproofing and resistance to contaminants.
“The raw materials are scheduled to arrive on April 9 and production will begin shortly after the Holy Week,” Vergeire said in Filipino.
The local production of PPE suits will help the country address the continued increase in number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
There is now high demand for PPEs worldwide as more than 1 .2 million people are now infected with COVID-19. Even COVID-19 referral hospitals such as the Lung Center of the Philippines and the Philippine General Hospital have been calling for donations.
“Given the global shortage of medical supplies and equipment, we are glad that many sectors in the country are coming together to provide urgent PPEs to our frontline health workers in our fight against COVID-19,” Vergeire said.
Besides the PPEs that will be locally manufactured, the Philippines is also expecting hundreds of thousands of PPE sets that it has imported through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management.