Manila, May 19, 2020 – Service members from the U.S. Army, Marines, and Air Force delivered over Php10 million ($203,000) in personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies to hospitals in ten provinces across the Philippines, working in partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard, Army, Marines, and Air Force. This new donation brings total U.S. government COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines to more than Php780 million (nearly $15.5 million).
The assistance, delivered in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy and Philippine Department of Health, will provide medical clinics from Luzon to Mindanao with much-needed PPE and other essential equipment to support frontline workers battling COVID-19. This joint U.S.-Philippine operation builds on decades of bilateral military cooperation in counterterrorism, humanitarian relief, maritime security, and many other fields.
Lt. General Ramiro Manuel Rey, AFP Northern Luzon Commander, expressed thanks for the donation, “Indeed, there is strength in unity. We would like to express our gratitude for the aid given by the U.S. Embassy. These items will greatly benefit the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center in Bataan and Talon General Hospital in Tarlac City for a better COVID-19 response. With the world in unison, we truly will heal as one.”
Over the next month, this medical equipment will be distributed to fourteen medical clinics, hospitals, and local Departments of Health in Palawan, Isabela, Tarlac, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Sulu, Zamboanga del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan. The supplies include disposable gloves, masks, medical clothing, various types of face protection, and tools such as infrared thermometers.
“With this effort, we are trying to do our part to provide the heroes of this fight, the medical professionals, with the necessary tools that they need to protect their fellow workers and citizens. Times like these show the strength of our friendship, partnership, and alliance as we work together to combat this virus,” said Captain Tim Johnson, Team Leader, Civil Military Support Element – Philippines.
The United States has provided more than Php228 billion ($4.5 billion) in development assistance to the Philippines over the past 20 years, including over Php29 billion ($582 million) in health assistance.