DTI assists PPE
producer UNISOL to reinvent its business
May 5, 2020
MAKATI CITY Ė As
demand dries up and non-essential establishments temporarily close
amidst the COVID pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry
(DTI), through its financing arm the Small Business Corporation (SB
Corp.), opens a loan facility for micro, small, and medium
enterprises (MSMEs) that decide to repurpose their production lines
to cope up.
One business that availed
of this DTI facility is Uniform Solutions (UNISOL), a start-up
company for on demand uniforms based in Cebu.
With an initial loan of
P3.0 million approved under DTI's Small and Medium Enterprise -
Personal Protective Equipment (SME-PPE) loan facility, UNISOL was
able to retrofit its production operations to make washable face
masks and reusable protective suits.
CEO Jonas Quilantang
narrated how it took him five years to set-up operations and get
ready for mass production, adopt technological innovations to
improve existing products; have the machines, suppliers as well as
the market ready.
"We wanted to make sure we
can deliver the bulk orders expected of us and sustain our niche
market," Quilantang explained.
UNISOL was about ready to
hold a grand company launch in early 2020 when a dire health
situation developed in China.
followed the news on the outbreak, had a hunch that the situation
could worsen and knew a surge in demand for facemasks would follow.
He immediately made a
strategic decision that changed the direction of his company.
"Before Luzon implemented
its enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), I got the commitment from
one of our suppliers for them to provide the needed fabric for the
washable facemasks," he said.
"We started making
washable facemasks mid-March and reusable protective suits in early
April this year," Quilantang added.
manufactures around 50,000 pieces of washable facemasks per day and
60,000 pieces of reusable protective suits a month.
UNISOL has reached the 1
million mark for facemasks as of April 29 this year.
After a month of
production, Quilantang said that the company now has a stable supply
of the products and is looking to widen its market by forging
UNISOL is one good example
of a company that effectively turned a negative situation into a
good business opportunity, DTI-Regional Operations Group Assistant
Secretary Asteria Caberte said.
Despite the challenges,
the company found a way to repurpose its production operation which
was originally designed to manufacture T-shirts, polo shirts and
jackets to produce personal protective equipment (PPE), and keep its
workers employed, ASec. Caberte explained.
Like UNISOL, SMEs can also
avail of the DTI loan facility by getting in touch with any of the
DTI-Central Visayas provincial offices to signify their interest and
to get an endorsement to the SB Corporation.
Micro enterprises with an
asset size of not more than P3-million can borrow P10,000 to
P200,000 while small enterprises with an asset size of not more than
P10 million can borrow a higher loan amount but not exceeding
P500,000, she said.