MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered that donated medicines and medical supplies to address the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) shall be coordinated with and transmitted to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for consolidation.
On March 31, Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 27 establishing a framework for the acceptance, management, distribution, and delivery of all medicines, medical equipment and supplies, and other health products donated to the Philippines to address Covid-19.
In signing the order, Duterte recognized that donations “are not intended to gain favors or to influence government action but are acts of altruism and generosity of Filipinos, non-government entities, foreign nationals, and foreign governments.”
“All donations to the National Government or the DOH (Department of Health) of medicines, medical equipment and supplies, and other health products intended to address the Covid-19 situation, whether received or accepted from foreign governments, private entities, non-governmental organizations, or any group or individual, shall be coordinated with and transmitted to the OCD for consolidation,” the order read.
The order does not apply to donations of food items, accommodation, transportation, and other basic necessities. These donations will be allowed without need of consolidation in the OCD.
“Such donations, however, shall be immediately reported by these recipient agencies and instrumentalities to the OCD in connection with the authority of the latter to allocate assets under Section 2 (Inventory and allocations of donations) of this Order,” it added.
Under the order, the OCD is directed to prepare an inventory of all the donations to the national government and to DOH that would be consolidated.
The OCD will also coordinate with concerned government agencies to determine which health facilities, beneficiary groups or establishments in the country, public or private, to give the donations to.
The office will also keep a record of the direct donations reported by the recipient agencies and instrumentalities to assess the need of such recipient agencies for further assistance from the OCD.
Meanwhile, the Department of National Defense will provide the necessary logistical support to the OCD for consolidation, distribution, and delivery of the donations to beneficiary facilities, groups or establishments.
Peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the national policy against Covid-19, will also be tasked to oversee the consolidation, management, inventory, recording, and distribution of these donations.
All other departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the national government were directed to render all the necessary assistance to the OCD.
The OCD will have to prepare a weekly report to the Office of the President on all actions taken in relation to the order.
Duterte signed the "Bayanihan to Heal as One Act" or Republic Act No. 11469 on March 24, declaring a state of national emergency over the entire country and giving him special powers to address to pandemic.
R.A. 11469 allows Duterte to ensure that the donation, acceptance, distribution of health products intended to address Covid-19 are not unnecessarily delayed and that health products for donation which duly certified by the regulatory agency or accredited third countries with established regulations are automatically cleared. (PNA)