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Local PPE manufacturers set add’l $36 M investments

Members of the newly-formed Confederation of Philippine Manufacturers of PPEs (CPMP) are investing an additional $36 million to further expand their capacities once the government has firmed up their sourcing deals with local producers of medical grade PPEs instead of importing these products.

Officials from the CPMP and its parent organization Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP) said they have the capacity to expand their production once a procurement arrangement with the Department of Budget is ironed out.

CPMP Vice-Chairman Perry Ferrer of EMS Components expressed hope that with Bayanihan 2 bill  mandating government agencies to prioritize locally produced PPEs in government procurement they would be able to sync in their supply with the government’s requirement.

The CPMP core members are Medtecs International Corp. Ltd., EMS Components Assembly Inc., Reliance Producers Cooperative, Luen Thai International Group Philippines, Inc., and Tacca Industries Pty Ltd from Australia.

Maritess Jocson Agoncillo, executive editor of CONWEP, said these firms are investing an additional $36 million in PPE projects that will employ an estimated 4,000 workers. This is on top of the $35 million the group has already invested as they repurposed their factories to produce 57.6 the million a month of face masks and 3 million coveralls capacity per month at present. The repurposing program has also saved 7,450 jobs.

According to Agoncillo, Australian firm Tacca is investing in the manufacture of medical grade non-woven polymer fabric for PPE production.  This was also confirmed by Board of Investments Managing Head Rodolfo Ceferino. At present, supplies of the non-women polymer are imported from China.

Ferrer said that PCMP members are only producing medical grade PPES and aims to supply 80 percent of the requirements of the government hospitals. At present, however, as much as 90 percent of PPE procurement of the Department of the Budget and Management are imported.

Lawrence De Los Santos, CPMP and CONWEP President, said that industry expansion is not an issue because they can easily expand capacity to double or triple the current capacity.

But, he said, the challenge is on the demand side. He noted that their biggest customer for medical

grade PPEs is the government. At this point, however, he said they are facing a problem on the process or the way government procures PPEs because it is not necessarily in sync with their production.

With that, PCMP would like to integrate the procurement requirement of the government with their capacity in place because they have already plans and they can easily ramp up production.

He said that majority of the current 57 million monthly production capacity is exported but they can easily swing this to the local market once they can get a procurement arrangement with the government.

Delos Santos cited the need for government assistance in the repurposing journey because “at the end

of the day, it is the Department of Health and the DBM who will buy it.”

Delos Santos further said they are competitive in terms of pricing when products are compared apples to apples.

“It is so easy for them and if there is a crunch, we can really produce with 2-3 shifts so double triple because so easy to ramp up very easy because we’ve already set it up,” Agoncillo added.

Ferrer also added that they are very competitive with imports although the local market is flooded with imported facemasks which standards may not be at par with the PCMP medically grade PPEs. PCMP members are only producing medical grade PPEs with certifications from foreign certifying bodies because that is the only way to protect the medical health workers.

The companies though that repurposed have no intention of abandoning their original electronics ventures. But the group also said that once the procurement system is ironed out, they see a very sustainable PPE business.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/08/21/local-ppe-manufacturers-set-addl-36-m-investments/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=local-ppe-manufacturers-set-addl-36-m-investments)

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