Duterte wants gov’t support for manufacturers of medical oxygen

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants producers of medical oxygen get government support to ramp up supply as the country battles a more contagious mutated strain of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In his weekly public address on Monday, President Duterte underscored the need for the country to secure ample supply of medical oxygen at this time.

“If it is really goes out of control, we would need all the oxygen that they can produce para sa mga tao. Kailangan talaga,” the President said, recalling that during the first wave of COVID-19, oxygen supply was scarce and producers hardly kept up with the excessive demand of hospitals nationwide.

The chief executive asserted that there should be easy licensing and tax incentives for local oxygen suppliers and manufacturers to meet the need of the growing number of COVID-19 patients.

“Itong gumagawa ngayon, bigyan ninyo ng lisensya ‘pag tama lang. If everything is in order, bigyan ninyo na kaagad,” he told Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo.

“’Yung manufacturers, maybe we — I’ll talk to Congress, bigyan kayo ng tax relief diyan sa ginagawa ninyo for you are producing a very vital component in the fight against the COVID-19 and the variant Delta.”

The President praised the country’s producers of medical oxygen, noting that despite the ongoing health emergency, they have kept up the production of the much-needed medical commodity.

Meanwhile, Director General Domingo assured the public that the government is doing the necessary preparations in order for the Philippines to avoid experiencing the predicament of other countries fiercely battling the spread of COVID-19 Delta variant.

Domingo reported that the FDA gave licenses to 30 medical oxygen manufacturers, adding that currently, there are 81 licensed manufacturers of the medical product all over the country.

“Iyong 51 po nito ay mga planta talaga po na nagsu-supply lamang sa ospital. ‘Yung 30 naman po nito ay mga planta na nandoon mismo sa ospital, nagsu-supply ng ospital at saka noong mga karatig o maliliit na ospital na katabi niya,” he told the President.

These oxygen manufacturers are all located within the country’s three main regions — Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, he said.

The FDA chief also said they don’t see any shortage in supply at this time. (PND)