Negros Occidental-based sugar producer Victorias Milling Company (VMC) has obtained permits from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for the commercial production of ethyl alcohol amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
VMC president Minnie Chua said the target is to double the capacity this month as they go full blast to address the scarcity of ethyl alcohol amid the high demand for the disinfectant.
“We finally got our clearance from the FDA and the BIR to produce ethyl alcohol that is badly needed in response to the Covid-19 situation,” Chua said in a statement on Tuesday.
She said there has been a shortage of the product in Negros Occidental after supplies were compromised due to logistical difficulty.
“Thus, we at VMC decided to utilize our distillery for this very purpose during this period,” she added.
The VMC Distillery Plant, which manufactures the V-Protect ethyl alcohol brand, and other related by-products, is located in Barangay Purisima of neighboring Manapla town. It has a rated capacity of 28,000 liters per day.
So far, the VMC has donated more than 20,000 liters of ethyl to local government units (LGUs) and the provincial government in Negros Occidental and those in Panay Island.
“We prioritize for distribution the government hospitals, particularly the Covid-designated health facilities, LGUs, and front-liners like the military and the police,” Chua said.
For now, VMC is operating its sugar mills and subsidiaries with a skeletal force in compliance with enhanced community quarantine being enforced by the Negros Occidental provincial government.
“While it is business as usual, we have set up various measures, both emergency and preventive, to protect, not only our workforce but the clients we serve. We are one with the nation in praying that this crisis will end soon,” Chua said. (PNA)