PWC of Davao’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, PWC of Davao is actively engaged in a community development program to mitigate the impact of the pandemic among its stakeholders and partners by ensuring an inclusive, innovative and sustainable supply chain in the production of protective gears for medical and security front-liners.
PWC of Davao has partnered with Davao Fashion and Design Council (DFDC), World Fair Trade Organization Asia (WFTO Asia) and Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) to organize Fair Trade-accredited community-based manufacturers in the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s), masks, foot-cover and face shields for both the medical and military front-liners as well as the public. The partner agencies have provided research-based designs and patterns emphasizing filtration efficiency and Positive Displacement (PD) flow rate for masks.
In the production process of the COVID-19 protective gear, WFTO Asia upholds good manufacturing practices, occupational health, and safety protocols, as well as, observance of the principles of, Fair Trade, which includes transparency and accountability, fair payment of workers and no form of child or forced labor.
Davao Fashion and Design Council (DFDC), a fair trade-recognized organization, is providing network support and mentoring assistance for product design and development to fashion design students and faculty actively engaged in the production activities. On-the-job (OJT) students from Tourism, Information Technology, Fine Arts and Interior Design, Teacher Education, Food Technology, Business Administration and Entrepreneurship, will be deployed online to do tutorials, training sessions, and coordination activities mostly with WFTO Asia.
PWC’s Food Processing and Innovation Center (FPIC) has produced ready-to-drink natural fruit juices: pink lemonade (purple sweet potato leaf and calamansi), purple lemonade (blue ternate calamansi), citrus zing (ginger calamansi), zing tonic (ginger, turmeric, calamansi). It has also produced vacuum fried orange and purple sweet potatoes and vacuum fried squash chips for the front-liners in Southern Philippines Medical Center. FPIC is using its production facilities in collaboration with the Food Processing Association of Davao (FPAD) members.
PWC intends to extend aid not only to front-liners and partner communities but is also committed to supporting its people, especially the marginalized. Locally, PWC is organizing a school-initiated fair-trade enterprise that would provide additional income for its stay-at-home employees and evening college students, who have ceased working with their respective employers.
The PWC community has a moral obligation to contribute to this massive effort in supporting our front-liners and ensuring that our stakeholders are ready to participate in the new “normal” after this crisis. We must ensure that our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and industry partners work hand-in-hand to do our part to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of the institutional effort is to maximize available equipment, facility and experts from PWC of Davao in conducting both physical and virtual co-located training and on-site small-scale production. The PWC Fashion Studio and Creative Industry Laboratory, recently equipped by the Department of Trade and Industry XI, will be utilized to accommodate these activities once clearance from the city government is secured. Alumni designers outside the Davao Region have also been mobilized to engage in similar endeavors. Early on, BFA Fashion Design students, selected faculty from Basic Education to Tertiary Education, and non-teaching personnel have volunteered to sew PPE suits and masks for free in collaboration with various local organizations.
The PWC motor pool has been busy delivering the materials and collecting the finished garments right at the doorstep of the volunteers.
Through these various projects such as the production of protective gear for front-liners and community-based enterprises for displaced stakeholders, PWC of Davao and its partners remain committed to doing its share to alleviate the pain and suffering caused by COVID-19.
Photos courtesy of Emi Englis, SPMC staff via Christina Ramos