By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) has identified two face mask manufacturers from India and Thailand that can supply more than a million units a month to augment depleting local supply but imports have to wait for at least 30 days to arrive.
PITC President Dave Almarinez, who immediately canvassed for foreign suppliers after receiving the order from Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez last Friday to scout for suppliers of 5 million facemasks, said the earliest they can bring in the supplies is within 30-37 days from the date of order.
“The fastest is 30 days plus logistics it could be 37 days but minimum of 30 days from the date of order,” he added.
The Indian firm, he said, can supply 1 million units of the surgical facemasks but the Thai firm is still working on the volume of facemasks that it can supply to the Philippines.
PITC is also working with the Department of Health if they would undertake the importation or the PITC will do it for themselves. They can also facilitate importation should there are private firms that would like to import.
“We are just on standby,” he said. Almarinez further said they are not sourcing from other countries like China and Taiwan as their own supplies have also become a challenge.
Lopez also said that US, India, Pakistan, and some countries have also limited stocks, but also added they are waiting for feedback from Vietnam.