Working hand-in-hand with Filipino servicemen, a salvation army in the guise of the US Marines and Air Force delivered on 19 May over P10 million in personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies to hospitals in 10 provinces across the Philippines, upping the total US government COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines to more than P780 million.
This sense of teamwork to jointly deliver aid between the US and the Philippine forces has been strongly built upon decades of bilateral military cooperation in counterterrorism, humanitarian relief and maritime security. The aid was also delivered in conjunction with the US Embassy and the Department of Health.
In receiving the donation, Lt. General Ramiro Manuel Rey, Armed Forces of the Philippines Northern Luzon Commander, said: “Indeed, there is strength in unity. We would like to express our gratitude for the aid given by the USol 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, the medical equipment will be distributed to 14 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.
“Times like these show the strength of our friendship, partnership and alliance as we work together to combat this virus,” said Captain Tim Johnson of the Civil Military Support Element in the Philippines.
For the past 20 years, US has provided more than P228 billion in development assistance to the Philippines, including over P29 billion in health assistance.