Senator Richard Gordon has raised the need for the government to stockpile on face masks, medical gowns or personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies.
He stressed this during the first hearing conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprise on Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1347 or the Stockpiling Act of 2019.
SBN 1347 aims to ensure that the country will have sufficient stocks of strategic supplies such as face masks, PPE, medical supplies and others when disaster strikes.
“As you know the world is challenged severely right now by the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease – 2019). Sports tournaments are being cancelled. China has over 2000 people dead,” Gordon said.
“Ang sekreto dito is the foresight. Stockpiling is a strategic part of our security, of the national interest, that the government look ahead,” he said.
SBN 1347 seeks to amend the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) charter to give the agency more authority in carrying out the proposed stockpiling.
“We have to anticipate so that when something happens, the government can respond. We’re drafting a law para if there are epidemics or pandemics may gamit tayo,” he said.
“Wala tayong panlaban, wala tayong nakaimbak na gamit, magkakaroon na ngayon ng nakahandang ipamigay,” Gordon said.
He added, “Kapag may naka-stockpile tayo hindi mahihirapan ang mga tao, katulad ng face masks – hindi tataas ang presyo, walang magho-hoarding dahil may supply.”