MANILA – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is tapping its global network of suppliers to purchase PHP500-million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) that doctors, nurses and other health care workers need now to continue saving lives amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis.
“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 Ang said on Monday in a media statement.
Ang also urged domestic manufacturers to retool their facilities, if they can, to produce this equipment and ramp up production to secure the supply chain.
SMC is mapping out available PPE capacity from its own suppliers even as it continues to look for domestic suppliers to increase the production of the protective equipment if they can as the battle against the virus continues.
“We are leveraging our network of suppliers to assist the government in addressing this shortage. But this may not be enough. That’s why we are also calling on local suppliers, even the small ones, to come forward. We will help purchase your products and get it out in the market where it’s most needed,” Ang said.
He requested for government, though, to provide the 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 front liners need.”
The company has been repurposing most of its facilities to respond to the need for more protective items and food for the hardest-hit communities.
SMC’s Ginebra San Miguel Inc. recently retooled its liquor plants nationwide to produce rubbing alcohol to help front liners fighting the outbreak.
Meanwhile, it started producing nutribun-inspired bread it continuously donates to poor communities severely affected by the quarantine.
The company has also donated over half a million kilos of rice, along with canned goods, biscuits, and coffee.
To date, the company has donated over 100,000 liters of ethyl alcohol to various front liners in the national and local government as well as public and private hospitals in Luzon.
Food donations have, so far, reached over PHP100 million. These were delivered to the hardest-hit areas in the National Capital Region, Cavite, Bulacan, Batangas, Laguna, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Quezon, Pangasinan, Marinduque, and Sorsogon.
The company said it will continue to send out food donations in the coming days
“We are committed to growing this fund for PPEs and continue allocating resources to purchase much-needed protective items. We also invite other businesses to join us in this initiative and work together to support our selfless health care workers on the front lines of this crisis. We are all in this together,” Ang added. (SMC PR)