Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Saturday urged the government to patronize and buy Filipino-made personal protective equipment (PPE) which had been tested for effectiveness and safety.
In a statement, Pangilinan slammed all those who would take advantage of the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service and steal billions of pesos allotted for PPEs.
Pangilinan cited the Confederation of Philippine Manufacturers of PPE (CPMP) that said the government favored imported PPEs, despite these not being tested.
"Bumili ng Filipino-made PPEs at siguruhin ang kaligtasan ng mga health workers na gumagamit ng imported at substandard PPEs. Bumili ng Filipino-made PPEs at suportahan ang mahigit sa 7,000 manggagawa ng CPMP at ang karagdagang 4,000 magkakatrabaho pa dahil dito," Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan mentioned that they had proposed Senate Bill 1759 which encourages support for the local production of PPEs and other medical equipment through tax exemptions.
But the senator noted it would not be enough if the government prioritized the importation of PPEs.
"Hindi natin maiwasang itanong ulit: Sino ang kumikita sa imported at overpriced na PPEs?" Pangilinan asked.
Senate Bill No. 1708 or the Healthcare Manufacturing and Pandemic Protection Act, authored by Senator Imee Marcos, was also proposed in July. The bill would provide tax exemptions for local manufacturers of PPEs. — DVM, GMA News