ONE of the leading makers of quality customized sports uniforms in the country has shifted its business to a worthy cause.
With production of playing jerseys currently shelved as major leagues such as the PBA have suspended operations following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Jersey Haven is now focusing on manufacturing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) suit intended for use by medical workers and other frontliners.
Since resuming operations just before the Holy Week, the firm has produced and distributed 1,500 pieces whole body garment PPE.
“Right now pinaka-malaking project namin yung pag-gawa ng PPE,” said Andrew Tan, who co-owns Jersey Haven with brother Alvin in a radio interview. “Nakapag-distribute na kami in more than 10 hospitals na.”
“This is our small way of helping our frontliners to be protected from the virus.”
Jersey Haven is the official licensee of PBA Retro jerseys, including the reproduction of classic Ginebra San Miguel uniforms the past two years. It also produces Barangay Ginebra jerseys in the PBA in partnership with World Balance.
“Kami yung gumagawa ng custom uniforms for Barangay Ginebra, partner kami ng World Balance (the Kings’ official outfitter), said Tan. “Sa MPBL naman, kami ang gumagawa for Batangas and for San Beda sa NCAA.”
The shift from playing jerseys to PPE was not easy.
“Mahirap yung pinagdaanan na transition. Siyempre, sanay kaming sportswear ang ginagawa, tapos lilipat bigla sa medical field na critical din kasi kailangan you have to make sure na yung magagamit ng frontliners ay yung naaayon na mapo-protektahan sila,” said Tan.
What they did was to borrow a custom-made PPE suit to see how it was done and then get the approval of doctors and other medical workers.
“Nanghiram muna kami ng sample na PPE at tsaka namin pina-approve sa PGH (Philippine General Hospital),” said Tan. “Siyempre to make sure na aprubado ng mga frontliners at siguradong mapo-protektahan sila.”
“So gumawa muna kami ng mga prototype, nung na-approve na for high risk use, doon na kami nag start mag-mass production.”
But doing charity work is nothing new for Jersey Haven.
“Ever since tumutulong na talaga kami, may drive na kami for charity events before involving PBA players and event imports like si Justine Brownlee,” said Tan.
While Jersey Haven has been giving away PPE suits, there are now other private institutions tapping its services for mass production, which in a way helps keep its operations afloat when business is really down.
“May mga kausap kaming donors na nagpapagawa sa amin and then they advise na lang kung saang hospital gustong ipadala yung PPE,” said Tan.
The PGH, Orthopedic, and San Lazaro hospitals are among those where Jersey Haven had send supplies so far.
“Yung iba kasi sila na ang bahalang nagpapadala kaya hindi namin alam saang hospital dinadala,” said the Jersey Haven owner.
Tan disclosed the firm is looking to produce at least 10,000 pieces of PPE.
“Yung materials na available kasi is good for 10,000 pieces. Pahirapan din kasi pag kuha ng materials ngayon lalo na naka-ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) tayo,” he said.
Part of the innovation being done by Jersey Haven is coming up with colorful PPE.
“Pampataas na rin ng morale nila na makitang makulay and creative yung design na suot nila,” said Tan.
Exactly the kind of boost health workers need nowadays.