Australia donates medical supplies to AFP

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star
Australia donates medical supplies to AFP
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana received the donations in a ceremony held at Pier 15 of Manila’s South Harbor on Tuesday.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Australian government has donated about P57 million worth of medical equipment, supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana received the donations in a ceremony held at Pier 15 of Manila’s South Harbor on Tuesday.

AFP chief Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr. and Col. Edgar Cardinoza, commander of the military’s Health Service Command, joined him at the turnover.

Lorenzana expressed the Department of National Defense (DND)’s gratitude and appreciation to the country’s longstanding strategic partner during the ceremony.

“The Australian government has expanded the coverage of its Defense Cooperation Program to include the pandemic needs of Filipino soldiers, a gesture that conveys the message that we are not alone in this fight,” he said.

“Certainly, these donations will ramp up the day-to-day clinical management and quality of care and service which AFP’s medical arm is expected to provide,” Lorenzana addded.

“The turnover of donations from the Australian government is a clear testament of the collaborative partnership that both our respective nations and military forces continue to nurture and sustain, as we aspire to work together in promoting the welfare of our people and country,” Faustino, for his part, added.

The AFP said the equipment and supplies will be turned over to the V. Luna Medical Center (VLMC) to support its COVID-19 response, testing efforts and capacity for hospitalization of minor to critical patients.

“Throughout this unpredictable COVID-19 pandemic, I am very pleased that Australia is able to provide flexible and responsive support to the Philippines. These additional medical and personal protective equipment will be critical in VLMC’s COVID-19 testing efforts, and treatment of COVID patients,” Australian Ambasador Steven Robinson said.

Among donated items were high-flow oxygen machines, stretcher, defibrillator, disinfection kits, automated RNA extraction kit, viral RNA extraction kit, RT-PCR reagents and detection kit, face masks, face shields, PPE level 3 and level 4 sets, eye protector and KN95 masks.

The AFP said this is the third tranche of donation from the Australian government coursed through the mutually agreed Australia-Philippines Enhanced Defence Cooperation Program.

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