PPE stockpiling sourcing program sought

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THE Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines and the Coalition of Philippine Manufacturers (CPMP) of PPE called on the government to set up a comprehensive stockpiling sourcing program to support the long-term sustainability of local PPE producers.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the groups said that while apparel and electronics export companies earlier repurposed a portion of their facilities to manufacture PPEs, these locally produced products are not getting into the market.

“CPMP founding members retooled their factories and poured in $35-million worth of initial investments. This also guaranteed the retention of 7,450 jobs to manufacture a minimum guaranteed capacity of 3 million pieces of gowns/coveralls, 60 million pieces of masks, 10 million units of PPE accessories such as head/foot covers and aprons per month,” they said.

“ the third quarter of 2020, the CPMP was ready to supply the country’s requirement with an annual aggregate capacity of 720 million units of masks, 36 million units of medical grade coveralls and isolation gowns, and 120 million units of PPE-related accessory covers,” they added.

The groups, however, said local suppliers’ capacity was not maximized in the overall government procurement set up, noting that CPMP members were only able to garner 27 percent of its monthly capacity for coveralls and gowns (815,000 units) and 69 percent of the monthly mask capacity or around 41.3 million units.

“This experience manifested a major bottleneck in the supply chain and builds on the critical need to establish a collaboration between government and the local industry on the national PPE procurement process or system, to work together and address what the country needs to buy, when to buy the medical grade PPE under a cohesive nationwide stockpiling program similar to what other countries are implementing such as Thailand, Singapore Taiwan, Japan, the United States, to name a few,” they said.

According to them, a comprehensive procurement program, which provides a gestational period for local manufacturers to source and stockpile on raw materials within a calendar year should be in place.

This will enable the government to plan the requirement projections to ably address the bottlenecks in the PPE supply chain management mechanism.

“We highly recommend the government to establish a cohesive supply chain committee program led by the DoH (Department of Health and the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) to work closely with the local industry in planning and implementing a National PPE Sourcing Plan as part of the Strategic National Stockpile Program,” the groups said.

The committee will be tasked to draw up the measure of each critical step, plan the logistics, and set up a cohesive procurement and planning program sourcing medical grade PPE produced locally, and supporting local employment.

“The local industry shall present and guarantee to the government a corresponding National PPE Supply and Delivery Plan to support domestic sourcing under an annual procurement plan,” the joint statement said.


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