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US Defense Production Act 1950


Erik Espina


Part of the crisis in our communities is the lack of alcohol and hand-sanitizers for “personal-hygiene.” In public/private establishments (restaurants, business enterprises etc.), and in government offices providing such necessities. They are ideally located at door entrances, tables, front desks, etc. We learn from observing the psychology of our countrymen, when garbage cans are spread in convenient areas, in ample number, people are reminded to throw trash into the collection bin. The social phenomenon applies to alcohol or hand sanitizing stations, as well.

But do we have a stable supply of alcohol or hand sanitizers in domestic production? Foreign sourcing, with the world experiencing a shore in medical supplies and equipment related to combatting COVID 19?

In response to the Korean War, the US Congress passed the Defense Production Act in 1950 as part of the “broad civil defense and war mobilization effort.” The law would “establish a system of priorities and allocations for materials and facilities, authorize the requisition thereof, provide financial assistance for expansion of productive capacity and supply, provide for price and wage stabilization, settlement of labor disputes, strengthen controls over credit and by these measures facilitate the production of goods & services necessary for the national security and other purposes.”

Enacting similar legislation in our Congress, will empower the president in present and future eventualities. For example, the current alcohol deficiency. If we had such a law, Malacanang would be authorized to deal with local distillery, wine makers, etc. to re-purpose their production line to meet the demand for our people. Such executive power is vital in what is a national security threat.


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