MANILA -- (UPDATE) As supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) run short, a Cebuana fashion designer is putting her skills to good use to help healthcare workers respond the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Valerie Alvez and her team are creating PPE out of eco-friendly material taffeta, a water-repellent fabric.
The noted fashion designer said she and her husband Charles Calunod offered their services in response to the dwindling supplies of PPE.
"I don’t want to take sole credit, as this was, and still is, a team effort. We are actually a very small but determined team that started with making and donating masks. Everything actually just fell into place and now it has snowballed into this," Alvez told ABS-CBN News.
"I was hesitant about posting this publicly but I figured we needed all the support we can get, and in case others also wanted to help as well," she added.
The customized black suit PPE they made has been approved by the Department of Health (DOH), Alvez said.
"This is disposable and one-time use only," she clarified.
On her Facebook page, the designer is calling her friends in the industry to help create protective gears for healthcare workers.
"Please help us protect our only line of defense," she wrote.
Alvez said they could give cut materials and quality specifications to meet the medical standard in making PPE.
Her team is also accepting donations in cash and in kind.
"So far we’ve made quite a lot of the regular eco-bag material lab gown type PPEs (to be honest I can no longer count as to how many) and although we continue to do revisions to the 1-piece suit PPE as medical standards are being requested and followed, we are still continuously producing both as we speak. As long as it is asked, we have no plans of stopping wherever help is needed," Alvez said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Philippines recorded 552 COVID-19 cases, with 35 deaths and 20 recoveries.