MANILA, Aug 14 (Philippine Inquirer/ANN): A group of companies that repurposed their plants to make personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers is now asking the government for help, as they struggle against the influx of imported PPEs.
The newly formed Confederation of Philippine Manufacturers of PPE (CPMP) wants certain measures to be included in the Bayanihan 2 bill, such as the exemption of locally made PPEs from taxes and fees.
“We request our legislators to implement fiscal policy reforms that would allow the local PPE industry to grow and be sustainable. We need to level the playing field in view of the influx of substandard PPEs, ” CPMP said in a statement.
The Bayanihan to Recover As One Act or Bayanihan was recently passed in both chambers of Congress but their respective versions had different stimulus packages.
The Senate version provides a stimulus package of about P140 billion while that of the House of Representatives earmarks P162 billion.
CPMP is composed of Medtecs International Corp. Ltd., EMS Components Assembly Inc., Reliance Producers Cooperative, Luen Thai International Group Philippines Inc. and Tacca Industries Pty Ltd.
They recalled how back in March the Department of Trade and Industry had asked garments and electronics manufacturers to repurpose portion of their facilities to produce PPEs.
Over the last three months, they said they had invested more than $35 million to repurpose their facilities which, also saved 7,450 jobs from being lost during the pandemic.
The group can now make 57 million pieces of face masks and 3 million coveralls and isolation gowns for health care workers.
“Products made by the CPMP passed the highest standard requirements. All test certifications were performed by third-party international laboratories and testing facilities for PPE such as Intertek, UL and SGS, ” the group said.
The group is seeking the exemption of locally made PPEs from payment of duties, taxes, fees and value-added tax on local sales.
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