Sen. Richard Gordon and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) facilitated the emergency shipment of three million pieces of face masks from a factory in Bataan to China early Sunday to help the Chinese people get protection amidst the outbreak of novel coronavirus in their country.
“At midnight today, I got a call from Adm. John Chen of Taiwan Medtech, a company operating at the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB). He asked me to help his company at Customs in NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) so his company could send millions of face masks to Wuhan for use by the people there against the nCoronavirus,” Gordon narrated in a Facebook post.
A chartered China Eastern landing at 3 a.m. was to pick up the badly needed masks and bring it to China but there was nobody at the NAIA Customs to process the export around that time, according to the senator.
Gordon who himself was not feeling well also had difficulty reaching his staff and BoC officials but said he was able to contact Customs Officer Mimel Talusan who gathered her staff to help in the humanitarian mission. Talusan is the daughter of the senator’s friend, Julie Manahan.
The face masks in Mariveles was transported overland to NAIA and somehow made it on time for loading into the airplane which departed at 7:30 a.m., said Gordon.
“The face masks are probably being distributed somewhere in China by now. Chinese authorities have commanded all factories making them in China to work day and night, 24/7 and certainly the Philippine shipment will help,” he said.
“I have been fighting a severe cough & cold the last several nights but I had to act so the Chinese people might, at least, have a modicum of self-defence against the virus,” Gordon added.
Gordon commended the BoC, particularly Talusan and her team, for going back to work beyond the call of duty in securing the speedy passage of the face masks to China.
“Dedicated hardworking people like them make me proud to be a Filipino,” he said.
The face masks was manufactured in Med Tech where the CEO, Clement Yang, is a very good friend, the senator said.
He also described Yang as a long time investor in his days at Subic and AFAB and the CEO has always been generous to the Red Cross which Gordon chairs.
Gordon said Yang and Med Tech donated thousands of bodybags to do proper management of dead bodies in the aftermath of Typhoons Reming, Frank and Yolanda as well as the eruption of Mayon Volcano.
“He also donated face masks for Taal Volcano eruption. We are blessed to have friends like the above, working in record time consistently for suffering humanity,” said Gordon.