Trump offers additional assistance to Duterte
US President Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte discussed possible coordination on the response to COVID-19 in a recent phone call.
AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images North America | Sen. Bong Go/Release

Trump offers additional assistance to Duterte

Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - April 21, 2020 - 10:31am

MANILA, Philippines — In a recent phone call with President Rodrigo Duterte, US President Donald Trump offered additional assistance to the Philippines as it deals with the deadly coronavirus disease, which first emerged in China late last year.

The US Embassy in Manila confirmed that Duterte spoke with Trump last Sunday.

The embassy said Trump expressed his solidarity with Duterte as both countries deal with the pandemic that has infected more than 2.4 million people in 193 countries and territories.

"Both leaders agreed to continue working together as long-time allies to defeat the pandemic, save lives and restore global economic strength," the US Embassy said in a statement Tuesday.

The US leader also expressed condolences for the death of 11 Filipino soldiers killed in a clash with the Abu Sayyaf group in Patikul, Sulu last Friday.

"The two leaders also discussed how the United States and the Philippines can continue building upon the string and enduring economic, cultural and security ties binding the two nations," the statement read.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque described the US-initiated phone call as "cordial."

According to Roque, the call from Trump lasted for 18 minutes, wherein the two leaders discussed collaboration on COVID-19.

"The only authority I got from the president is to say that it was about cooperation, that the Philippines and the US may cooperate on the COVID-19," Roque said in a press briefing Monday.

Just last week, the US government provided an additional P66 million ($1.3 million) to the Philippines to help in its fight against the new coronavirus.

The US, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is also working with the Department of Health and other stakeholders to intensify efforts to control the outbreak.

"Through this additional assistance, USAID will augment its support for the country’s laboratory systems; intensify case-finding and event-based surveillance; fortify systems to prevent and control infections; expand risk communication; and support Filipino and international technical experts to enhance response and preparedness," USAID said in a media release.

The additional assistance from the Philippines is also expected to expand the country's testing capacity and provide the latest information about COVID-19 to Filipinos and health care providers.

The US has so far provided more than P203 million ($4 million) in aid to the Philippines' response to COVID-19.

As of Monday afternoon, the Philippines recorded 6,459 cases of COVID-19 with 613 recoveries and 428 deaths.

Meanwhile, US death toll has climbed to 42,094 with more than 784,000 confirmed cases as of Tuesday morning (Manila time), according to the latest tally from John Hopkins University.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 23, 2020 - 2:54pm

A thread of major developments in the bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States from April to December 2020. (Photo by AFP/Mark Cristino)

November 23, 2020 - 2:54pm

US national security adviser Robert O'Brien affirms Washington's commitment to the Philippines in protecting its sovereign rights, offshore resources and rights consistent with international law.

Citing Washington's realignment of its position on the South China Sea with the 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidate Beijing's expansive claims, O'Brien stresses that resources in the area belong to the Filipino people.

"They don’t belong to some other country that just because might, they may be big, and they may be bigger than the Philippines, they can come take away and convert the resources of the Philippine people," O'Brien says.

October 7, 2020 - 1:03pm

The US Embassy in the Philippines says the US government has turned over 150 laptop computers, printers, projectors and 80 sets of learning materials to the Department of Education through the United States Agency for International Development. 

"This assistance is part of USAID’s Opportunity 2.0, a five-year, P1.9-billion ($37.5 million) project that works with DepEd, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and local governments to support their ongoing programs to provide relevant education, employability skills, and work experience to out-of-school youth," the US Embassy says in a statement.

August 19, 2020 - 8:56am

The US government launches a new program to provide second-chance opportunities to at least 180,000 out-of-school youth in the Philippines.

Under the five-year "Opportunity 2.0" project, which is worth P1.9 billion, the USAID will partner with DepEd and TESDA to augment their ongoing programs that provide relevant education, employability skills and work experience.

"Through this new partnership, we can leverage a range of resources to maximize the potential of the Filipino youth, particularly those who are out-of-school or unemployed. With the right knowledge, attitudes, and skills, they will play a pivotal role in this great country’s growth and success over the long-term," US Ambassador Sung Kim says.

August 7, 2020 - 8:05am

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. to discuss the recent change in US policy on maritime claims in the South China Sea, the US Department of State says.

The two foreign ministers also discussed US support for Southeast Asian coastal states upholding their sovereign rights and interests consistent with international law, as well as opportunities for further maritime cooperation between the two countries.

"The two secretaries also discussed the strong economic, security, and people-to-people ties that bind our two countries," the statement read.

July 27, 2020 - 8:56am

The US Army and Marine Corps service members, in partnership with the Philippine Air Force, Army and Coast Guard, deliver an additional P11.4 million ($236,000) worth of personal protective equipment and medical supplies to hospitals in 11 cities in the Philippines.

The latest donation brings the total assistance of the US government to the Philippines' efforts against COVID-19 to P989 million (more than $20 million).

"This latest delivery of U.S. government assistance for Filipino frontliners in the battle against COVID-19 is a testament to our ongoing commitment to help the Philippines defeat the pandemic," US Ambassador Sung Kim says.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with