17,000 face masks, medicines brought to Batangas

Published January 14, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jel Santos

Nearly 17, 000 respiratory masks were transported by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to two evacuation centers in Batangas on Tuesday morning.

Motorcycle riders traverse the ash fall covered are at Agoncillo, Batangas on Monday. Photo by Jansen Romero
Motorcycle riders traverse the ash fall covered are at Agoncillo, Batangas (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

In partnership with MMDA, the PHAPCares Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), donated over 16,500 respiratory masks at the evacuation centers in Sto. Tomas and Padre Garcia.

It also donated medicines for respiratory illnesses and drinking water.

The donation was in response to Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s call for help for communities affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.

“We are aware that the health of our countrymen could be compromised as a result of the volcanic eruption. Augmenting needed medical supplies such as face masks and medicines are important to cushion the possible health consequences of the volcanic activity on the people and our emergency responders,” Jannette Jakosalem, PHAPCares Foundation president, said in a statement.

Early Tuesday morning,  MMDA Deputy Chairman Undersecretary Frisco San Juan Jr.  said they received the face and N-95 masks and goggles that was meant for use by agency responders.

“We thank PHAPCares Foundation for the much needed face masks, medicines and goggles which are running out of stock and sadly, being sold at a higher price because of the calamity. It is a must for every responder to wear masks and goggles for added protection,” he expressed.

On Monday morning, a rescue team and emergency composed of 30 personnel of the MMDA were deployed to Batangas province to assist residents affected by the volcanic eruption.

The health hazards of volcanic ash include respiratory illnesses, eye and skin irritation, accidents and psychological stress. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that at least 18,187 people are seeking temporary refuge in 76 evacuation centers.

“We are particularly concerned with the effects of the ash fall, ground tremors, and displacement especially to health of women, elderly, and children, and those with existing health conditions. The Foundation along with our members will continue to closely monitor and assess the needs in anticipation of more people being affected by the eruption,” Dr. Rosarita Quijano-Siasoco,  PHAPCares executive director, said.

According to MMDA, the foundation committed to give other necessities such as blankets for the affected families this month.