OVP, fashion designers get green light to mass produce PPEs

PHOTO from Leni Gerona Robredo's Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Vice President (OVP) and local fashion designers have received approval to mass-produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for coronavirus disease 2019  (COVID-19) frontliners.

A prototype for a protective suit by Filipino fashion designers got a green light from both local and international experts, Vice President Leni Robredo announced over her Facebook page.

“It took us more than 48 hours of going back and forth and this afternoon, finally, our prototype has been approved!!!” Robredo said Sunday.

“We can go full steam into production now,” she announced.

Robredo recalled appealing to local designers to help design a protective suit for healthcare personnel due to global supply shortage.

Through fashion designer Mich Dulce, Robredo said more local designers committed to the project.

“After a day, they already have a pattern and a techpack and they were available online for everyone to use,” Robredo said.

Robredo noted the design was medically reviewed in Berkeley in California and it was recommended that a material called Tyvek be used in producing the suits, which was apparently not available in the country.

“Instead, we scoured local fabric suppliers to look for similar materials that will protect our health workers,” Robredo said.

They were eventually linked to Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Jesus Julio Ancheta who checked their prototypes and the material to be used in the production.

“The one approved was made by Joey Socco using Tafetta Silver Back Lining,” she said.

The approved pattern is available online, but is only so far available in a large size. [https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-Xr-67gs2qw0o44-hy-INb89I9m-wcLD]

Robredo said patterns for small, medium and a two-piece version, which are “easier for bathroom breaks,” are already in the works.

“The pattern is for everyone’s consumption. We will be producing in bulk but you can all have your local mananahis make them for your own health frontliners, specially those in the provinces,” Robredo said.

“Please just make sure you use Tafetta SBL [Silver Back Lining] to ensure the utmost protection. The good thing about this is this is reusable,” she noted.

Due to the scarcity of PPEs, many have stepped in to create alternative protective gear for medical frontliners.

The Philippines has so far recorded 1,418 COVID-19 cases, of which 71 have already died and 42 have recovered.

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