San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is tapping its global network of suppliers to purchase P500 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) that doctors, nurses and other health care workers desperately need to continue treating COVID-19 patients.
“It’s very crucial that we get more PPE – protective masks, gloves, surgical gowns, among others – out there as fast as we can. We are hoping to fill the gap and continue supporting our government in
whatever way we can. Our health care workers and government responders are risking their own lives to save ours but they are running out of equipment to protect themselves,” SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang said.
At the same time, Ang also urged domestic manufacturers to retool their facilities, if they can, to produce these equipment and ramp up production to secure the supply chain.
SMC is currently mapping out available PPE capacity from its own suppliers even as it continues to look for domestic suppliers to help increase production of the protective equipment.
He asked the government to provide private sector with technical specifications and standards the protective items must meet.
“And we need to streamline the certification and approval processes so that those who wish to respond can immediately provide the supplies our medical frontliners need,” he said.
Meanwhile, Grab Philippines on Monday said it deployed 50 GrabWheels e-scooters free-of-charge in select local government units in Metro Manila for the faster transportation of health care and medical workers.
The scooters will be deployed in Manila, Quezon City, San Juan, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Marikina, and
Pasig, and are aimed at improving short-distance commutes for health care workers, frontliners and barangay officials in these cities.
Grab said it has more than 300 e-scooters ready for deployment to other LGUs.
Rules for borrowing and returning the scooters will be set by the LGUs.
Also on Monday, Senator Nancy Binayappealed to members of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) to donate pillows and beddings to COVID-19 quarantine centers.
“The hospitals and quarantine centers are already too overwhelmed and preoccupied. Broadly speaking, the TCP can be the backline in this fight against COVID-19 by giving out soap, donating pillows and
linen,” said Binay, who chairs the Senate committee on tourism.
She expressed confidence that many TCP members would answer the call for help, even though the tourism industry has taken a massive hit due to the pandemic.
“This would require sacrifice on the part of the private sector, but I believe that many of our partners in the Tourism Congress will be willing to help and do what they can so that we can get over this crisis,” Binay said in Filipino.
The TCP represents tourism establishments like hotels, resorts, theme parks, travel and tour operators and other stakeholders in the country’s tourism industry, which is among the most seriously damaged by the COVID-19 outbreak and the travel restrictions imposed around the world to cope with it.