Recto urges purchase of locally made PPEs instead of sourcing from China
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Ralph Recto is pushing for a “Buy Filipino” policy when it comes to the purchase of personal protective equipment for medical frontliners and the general population.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the Senate pro tempore said that it’s not “rocket science” when it comes to the purchase of PPEs and not everything should be purchased from the Chinese manufacturers.
“Not all of the things we need today should be sourced from China, even if it is the world’s factory,” said Recto. “What we can manufacture locally, let’s go for it, because doing so will ramp up manufacturing that creates jobs for our people.”
Recto said there’s already a coalition of garment manufacturers that committed “an army of 10,000 sewers” who are ready to produce PPEs and face masks.
He added that the manufacture of cloth masks for the general population could become a village enterprise wherein local demand is met while employing local labor.
The government, Recto said, could provide the seed capital through its agencies for “municipal or barangay sewing groups to start churning out washable cloth face masks.”
“Tapping them is a win-win proposition. Sewers protect our people and we put food on the table of the sewers,” said Recto. “Instead of straight doleout, this can be a variance of conditional cash transfer—the ‘conditional’ here is the production of masks.”
Recto said the government can fund these local initiatives to help local tailors who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic since the clothing industry has taken a hit due to lack of demand.
The opposition senator is proposing Mask Assembly sa Kalunsunuran (MASK) program that will be a component of the ongoing pandemic response of government agencies.
Recto said that his proposal is not meant to be read as a waiver of medical production standards.
“Yung breathing apparatus na complicated, kailangan mo talaga i-import. Pero kung protective gowns lang, bakit kailangang Made in China, kung same quality at competitive ang presyo ng Made in Cavite?” said Recto.
(The complicated breathing apparatus should be imported but for protected gowns, why go for Made in China if we have the same quality and the ones Made in Cavite are competitively priced?)
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