The Philippine Plastics Industry Association (PPIA) has redirected its environmental funds, initially meant to purchase recyclable materials, to the production of disposable protective coveralls (DPCs). As of Apr. 19, there are already 6,259 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country and frontliners are in serious and constant risk with the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPEs). The group was able to raise P4 million for the initiative and is currently in the process of producing 10,000 DPCs.

The PPIA has hired more than 50 workers from small-scale facilities to produce 500 pieces of DPCs per day. These DPCs are made from eco-friendly textile materials, similar to that of shopping bags, which make them different from PPEs. The PPIA will subsidize workers while their partner garment companies will provide sewing machine equipment. The group has already distributed 2,400 DPCs to at least 22 emergency quarantine facilities.

PPIA president Vincent Co noted that because other countries prioritized their healthcare systems at the time of a global health crisis, the supply of materials necessary to produce PPEs has become a recurring major problem—highlighting our (over) dependence on imported products and foreign entities.

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