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SMC to spend P500M to procure PPEs for local health care workers

Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. has allocated P500 million to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers amid the global health crisis brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In an emailed statement, SMC said it will tap a global network of suppliers to procure PPEs needed by local doctors, nurses and other health care workers.

"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," SMC president and COO Ramon Ang said.

"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," he elaborated.

According to the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), the country currently has enough doctors in its arsenal, but the lack of PPEs is a major challenge for the medical workforce in the fight against COVID-19.

The Office of the Vice President, along with local fashion designer Mich Dulce, are set to begin the production of the first medically-reviewed and open-sourced PPE in the country.

"We are leveraging our network of suppliers to assist 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. —LDF, GMA News