San Miguel Corporation (SMC) packaging unit San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corporation (SMYPC) has begun local production and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for the medical sector, tapping community-based tailors and dressmakers to assemble the protective suits, using medical fabric produced in its woven products facility in Malaysia.
SMC president Ramon S. Ang underscored the importance of having sufficient supply of locally-produced PPEs and isolation gowns, given the current pandemic, when such protective gear are indispensable in hospitals as well as in industrial facilities.
“It has only been a year, so it’s still very fresh in our minds what happened last year at the start of the pandemic, when there was a worldwide shortage of PPEs. We want to help ensure our medical workers and hospitals can source protective wear locally,” Ang said.
“At the same time, we’re providing much-needed livelihood for our local artisans whose small sewing businesses have also been affected by the pandemic,” he added.
For over eight decades now, SMYPC has provided a wide range of packaging solutions to the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries not just in the Philippines, but throughout Asia-Pacific, Australasia, the Middle East, Africa and the United States.
While the business is primarily centered on the production of glass, metal, composites, plastics, PET and corrugated paper packaging, the company also provides services like packaging research and testing, packaging development, graphic design, and contract packaging and trading.
It will be recalled that when the pandemic struck in mid-March last year, the Ang-led SMC was among the first to respond to the needs of both the medical sector and poor communities.
Apart from reconfiguring its liquor operations to produce and donate disinfectant alcohol and mounting a nationwide food donation drive, SMC was also first to secure over 40,000 PPEs from abroad and fly these home via a chartered Boeing 777 aircraft, for donation to hospitals nationwide.
This was at the height of fierce global competition for supplies of PPEs.
Recognizing the continuing needs of the health care sector, SMYPC developed and is now bringing in material from one of its facilities in Malaysia, which can be used to make into PPEs.
The protective wear will be put together by local tailors based in Pasay City, Quezon City and Imus, Cavite.
SMYPC’s PPE offerings include three (3) types, ranging from the bunnysuit, lab coat type, and the jacket with hood and pants.
All are breathable and impermeable, even acquiring recognition from the Hospital of Kuala Lumpur.
Last year, apart from procuring PPEs abroad, SMC also worked with the Department of Health and the PGH to tap the local Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP) to produce much-needed PPEs.
SMYPC is looking to provide high-quality and affordable PPEs to for use in medical facilities, as well as in dental clinics, dermatological clinics, and the like.