MANILA, PHILIPPINES— Procter & Gamble (P&G) Philippines has repurposed its manufacturing operations to produce medical grade face masks. The country’s leading producer of consumer goods pledged 1 million medical-grade face masks to the Department of Health (DOH) and health authorities to help in the nation’s battle against COVID-19. It recently launched its support for the DOH’s BIDA Solusyon sa COVID-19 and prior to this, hosted the DOH and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at its Cabuyao plant to turn over the locally produced face masks and show the production line operations.
“P&G is one with the nation in the fight against COVID-19. We are using our brands and manufacturing expertise to be a Force for Good and to protect our countrymen and frontliners. Our mission is to ensure Filipinos have a consistent supply of trusted health and hygiene products which are critical in keeping homes and families safe. We also transformed a part of our manufacturing operations to produce much needed face masks. With the help of the DTI and Board of Investments, we were able to quickly set up our mask production line,” P&G Philippines General Manager Raffy Fajardo, told national government officials. “These masks are not for sale. We are donating these to the DOH and local health authorities to protect our frontliners. They will also be used to protect our workforce who are producing and distributing essential goods for the country.”
P&G first announced the repurposing in April, shortly after the government imposed the enhanced community quarantine over the main island of Luzon. The timely announcement came as the IATF mandated Filipinos to use face masks in public to limit the transmission of COVID-19.
“The Department of Health has partnered with P&G over the years in the shared purpose of creating a healthy nation. We were partners in the past for SARS, for H1N1, and now we are again grateful for the partnership of an industry leader such as P&G in the fight against COVID-19. Medical grade face masks are much needed by our frontliners in healthcare institutions,” said DOH Director IV, Health Promotions Bureau Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho.
P&G is one of the manufacturing firms that the DTI and the Board of Investments enabled as it quickly repurposed its manufacturing operations to meet the increased demand for face masks and protective equipment for frontline workers and Filipino consumers. DTI-BOI provided the support needed to help in sourcing critical raw materials, registering the new production lines with key government agencies, facilitating the testing of the masks providing the standards needed for good manufacturing practices and helping expedite the shipment of the line.
DTI Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Group Ceferino Rodolfo, lauded the decision of P&G to join the government’s program to locally produce quality medical supplies essential for the country to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. “We thank P&G for answering our call to Philippine manufacturers to band together, use their expertise–retool if they must–and join the government in this battle against an unseen enemy. Together with our allies in the private sector, we will continue to combine our efforts to innovate, to adapt, and ultimately, to heal as one,” he said.
A Force For Good
Amid the pandemic and quarantine, P&G has been guided by three core principles. First, protecting the health and well-being of its employees. Second, serving the needs of consumers, who rely on P&G’s trusted brands for cleaning, health and hygiene. And third, supporting frontline workers and communities amid the pandemic and quarantine.
Early on in the enhanced community quarantine, P&G implemented strict workplace safety measures for its skeletal workforce, such as implementing physical distancing cues and barriers, and disinfecting thrice a day and every two hours for high-touch areas. Work-for-home arrangements, which the company has been practicing since 2000, were also activated. Keeping their workforce and sites safe would enable the employees to focus on providing for essential goods Filipinos crucially needed to keep their homes and families safe, and providing the same to frontliners in hospitals.
The company’s relentless focus on innovating for consumer needs was once again demonstrated in its agile repurposing of its operations to establish a mask production line in their Cabuyao plant.