MANILA – Australia is donating PHP35-million worth of medical supplies to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to further aid the military's coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response.
The donation includes hospital and personal protective equipment, and support for the 30-bed expansion of the Victoriano Luna Medical Center- AFP Medical Center infectious disease ward.
“I am pleased to join Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to formally handover this assistance. What better way to invoke the spirit of mateship and bayanihan between our countries, than by supporting the health and welfare of AFP members, who are carrying out such a challenging role for the people of the Philippines," said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson AO on Thursday.
Lorenzana and the envoy were joined by AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. and Col. Edgar Cardinoza, commanding officer of the AFP Health Service Command.
During the turnover ceremony, Lorenzana thanked the Australian government.
“We are very thankful for this assistance to the V. Luna Medical Center, especially during this pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need to increase the capacities of our hospitals to combat the virus,” Lorenzana said.
Earlier, Australia’s Defence Minister Linda Reynolds cited Manila and Canberra's “long-term commitment" to work as partners in advancing regional security and stability as well as addressing the pandemic. (PNA)