Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday received an initial 200 biohazard suits donated to the government by the Lucio Tan-led LT Group and its affiliate PMFTC Inc.
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Military receives donation of biohazard suits
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - February 9, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Emergency teams of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) responding to cases involving hazardous materials now have biohazard suits that would protect them from harm.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday received an initial 200 biohazard suits donated to the government by the Lucio Tan-led LT Group and its affiliate PMFTC Inc.

Department of National Defense (DND) public affairs service chief Director Arsenio Andolong said the protective gear will be turned over to the AFP.

The biohazard suits, which also included protective footwear, goggles and other equipment, will be used by military emergency responders and medical teams who will be tasked with handling hazardous and contaminated materials.

Andolong said the donation will enhance the DND’s efforts to continuously strengthen the readiness of the AFP as first responders during disaster and crisis situations.

He noted that the DND, as part of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) with Lorenzana as chair, provides first responders and logistical support to the government’s disaster and emergency response operations.

nCoV response

After holding an emergency full council meeting, the NDRRMC on Friday assured the Inter-Agency Task Force of its full support for the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in the response actions on the 2019-Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease (nCoV ARD) threat.

All member-agencies of the government, including local disaster response units, were also enjoined to help implement agreements on the assistance to be extended to the task force.

NDRRMC executive director and Office of Civil Defense administrator Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad of the DND said the NDRRMC will specifically assist the IATF-EID on information dissemination campaigns, risk communication plans, conduct of contact tracing and field validation, repatriation operations of Filipinos and coordination with local government units (LGUs) and partners.

The NDRRMC also pledged to help in the mobilization of logistics and conduct of biochemical interventions, management of quarantine areas and other tasks that may be directed by the health cluster, executive director and chair of the NDRRMC to ensure an effective, efficient, timely and well-coordinated response.

Jalad said the NDRRMC will also secure the full participation of the local DRRM councils in the response actions by cascading infection control initiatives.

He noted that all NDRRMC response clusters have now been directed to collaborate with their counterparts at the national and local levels and work closely with the Department of Health as the lead agency of both the IATF-IED and NDRRMC health cluster. 

“Let us support the efforts of the IATF-EID. We need to have a unified response to identify, track, control and prevent the rise of nCoV cases in our country,” Lorenzana said. 

The full NDRRMC council meeting was presided over by Lorenzana as chair and was attended by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, as well as the heads and top officials of all NDRRMC member-agencies.

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