In support of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) facing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, ExxonMobil PNG (EMPNG) has engaged nine local tailoring businesses to manufacture 10,000 face coverings for its staff.
Following recommendations from the Papua New Guinean Government and global health authorities, EMPNG has committed to adhering to guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including practising physical distancing and wearing face coverings when physical distancing is not always possible.
Keith Killian, Executive Director of ExxonMobil PNG, said the company is committed to supporting local businesses.
“The impact of COVID-19 has affected our daily lives, and we all have a role to play in continuing to prevent the spread of the virus. Our partnering with local MSMEs to manufacture these face coverings is a great example of fostering economic activity back into the community.
"We are humbled by the resilience and grateful for the commitment of our tailoring partners to quickly craft high-quality reusable face coverings to help us protect the health of our workforce, their families and the communities where we live and operate,” Mr Killian said.
Tailoring businesses from across the PNG LNG Project areas have been engaged to manufacture the required 10,000 face coverings.
June Bonit, Owner of Jets Tailoring limited, said she is grateful to ExxonMobil PNG for this partnership that has enabled her to rehire staff to fulfil demand.
“We’ve been able to provide work for three seamstresses to sew face coverings which is fantastic for the business and offers us a great opportunity to showcase our quality of work,” Ms Bonit said.
ExxonMobil PNG is providing face coverings to all staff to wear when physical distancing is not possible, such as when transiting to and from work, visiting crowded spaces or conducting community engagement activities.
Dianne Coronel, Owner of D-Signs Tailoring, said her team is only currently working on the face coverings for ExxonMobil PNG following decreased business demand due to COVID-19.
“We have a team of 14 workers on the floor, all helping to produce 500 face coverings a day.”
“Thanks to ExxonMobil PNG’s order of 4,000 face coverings, we have been given an opportunity to provide additional work for our employees enabling them to support themselves, their families and their communities,” Ms Coronel said.
The company is also supporting the PNG Government in its efforts to prevent the spread of the virus with the donation of critical medical equipment like personal protective equipment, thermometers and screening shelters, through collaboration in preventative health and hygiene awareness in project areas including logistical support in remote regions, and in the sharing of successful practices. Recently, ExxonMobil PNG also assisted in the repatriation of stranded PNG students from the Philippines.