Alcoholic drinks are now being used to create alcohol disinfectants while ready-to-wear garments are transformed into protective uniforms—these innovations are what we need to uplift businesses as well as contribute in the fight against COVID-19.

The Board of Investments (BOI) is helping manufacturers repurpose their product lines as part of their campaign to support businesses during the pandemic. They focus on the manufacturers’ “strengths in product development, logistics, production systems, and skilled workforce” and bridging the gap between raw material suppliers and manufacturers for a stable supply of products amid the crisis.

With this, Australian-based packaging firm Tacca Industries aims to chip in in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the country by  hiring 100 new employees in their production plant in Laguna. Firms that are interested to work on this initiative can book an appointment via BOI’s Facebook page to know more about the help and incentives available. A specialist will then guide the business in their shift to PPE production.

“The number one priority is to keep the employment and keep people in jobs and this extra project that we will do in the mask material will be good for the economy and everybody in general. It’s crucial that health workers in the Philippines are cared for and making sure that they get the right equipment so that they are very safe and sound,” says Clem Tacca, CEO of Tacca Industries.

This isn’t the first time brands are refocusing on community-driven relief efforts during the pandemic. International clothing brands such as Hanes, Zara and Los Angeles Apparel used their manufacturing facilities to produce masks and hospital gowns. 

Meanwhile, car manufacturers Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls Royce and Honda are now producing ventilators. Even French multinational LVMH, the company behind Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari and Christian Dior, is using their perfume factories to produce hand sanitizers.

Locally, industry leaders made a move to help the country recover. Ligo Sardines redirected its 2020 advertising funds for COVID-19 relief and response efforts while San Miguel Corporation produced ethyl alcohol in their liquor power plant. Cosmetic surgery firm Belo Medical Group has also donated all their remaining stocks of PPE and will continue to do so once supplies reach them. Angkas even made the move to launch its own food delivery system where all the fees go to their bikers.

Huge monetary donations as well as PPE, face mask and test kit allocations have also been delivered by corporations and foundations such as The SM Group, The Gokongwei Brothers Foundations and The Araneta Group. 

Even though brands are doing their best to contribute to the community (all the while finding ways to sustain themselves), we can’t rely on constantly producing safety items and equipment just to extinguish the small fires. We shouldn’t wait for our resources to run dry. The root cause—the virus—has to be dealt with accordingly and promptly.

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