MANILA – The Australian government is donating 100 oxygen concentrators to the Philippines which continues to battle a spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

The donation was announced during the Joint Ministerial Meeting between the Philippines and Australia's foreign and trade ministries on August 23.

"Australia's partnership with the Philippines is deep and enduring. Last night, (Trade Minister Dan Tehan), (Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr.), Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and I discussed strengthening Australian-Philippine cooperation and partnering for COVID recovery including delivery of 100 oxygen concentrators to the Philippines," Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said.

In a joint statement posted on Tuesday, Australia said arrangements are underway to immediately provide the medical equipment.

Manila and Canberra are likewise working together to battle the ongoing pandemic through the latter's Regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative, which will provide AUD35.9 million (about PHP1.3 billion) to support the country's vaccine rollout.

"The Ministers and Secretaries agreed that our development cooperation is a longstanding and important aspect of our relationship," the statement read.

The Australian Ministers, for their part, reaffirmed Canberra's commitment to enhance its partnership with Manila to strengthen the country's health security as well as support peacebuilding efforts in Mindanao and promote economic recovery. (PNA)