Thursday, April 16, 2020
San Miguel Corporation Prepares to Distribute 40,000 PPEs
A day after a chartered Philippine Airlines arrived carrying 40,000 sets of protective gear (PPEs), San Miguel Corporation (SMC) employee volunteers have begun repacking them for distribution to medical front liners.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said the company has chartered the aircraft from Philippine Airlines and filled it “to the brim” with personal protective equipment (PPEs) sourced from suppliers in China, to be donated to various hospitals in Luzon where most COVID-19 cases are reported.
The shipment consists of 40,000 hazmat suits and goggles seen to help boost local supply of medical grade PPEs. Local manufacturers are also work to ramp up production capacity.
“We are very fortunate to have been able to buy this much PPEs. Globally, demand is so high. Many of the big countries want to buy them all. That is why when the opportunity to buy this much came, we grabbed it, and chartered a large aircraft to bring the supplies home,” Ang said.
The 40,000 China-sourced PPE gear is part of a P 500-million fund the conglomerate setup to acquire PPEs from both local and international suppliers.
SMC earlier announced it was buying the first 10,000 PPEs to be made by local garments manufacturers under the Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP). The group was tapped by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Health (DOH) to reconfigure their operations to ramp up local production of PPEs.
“We are hoping that with these developments, more doctors and nurses nationwide will have less worry about their safety and the availability of PPEs in the coming days and weeks. It is crucial that our medical front liners have the necessary protective equipment when they fight this virus, and we are glad to be contributing to our government’s efforts to address this issue,” Ang added.
Apart from its P500 million fund to acquire PPEs, SMC has also donated over P227 million in food products, including canned goods, meat and poultry products, rice, biscuits, coffee, dairy, and flour to make bread, to less fortunate communities during the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine. Its food donations have started reaching provinces from Visayas and Mindanao.