By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
The Office of the Vice President’s (OVP) donation drive for health workers fighting the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has collected more than P50 million on April 9, Vice President Leni Robredo announced on Easter Sunday.
As of the evening of April 11, the proceeds have reached P50.9 million, which is equivalent to 116,262 personal protective equipment (PPE) sets and 13,241 food and care packages, Robredo said in a Facebook post.
The OVP, in partnership with the Kaya Natin! Movement, is raising funds for the benefit of frontline health workers in need of PPEs as they fight the spread of COVID-19.
The donation drive was launched after thousands of health workers complained about the shortage of PPEs even as COVID-19 cases in the country continue to increase. Some who had no PPEs even had to wear garbage bags and raincoats just to protect them from the virus.
According to the OVP, a total of 69,075 PPE sets have already been distributed to 327 hospitals nationwide, while 6,607 food and care packages were given to maintenance staff, security guards, and other staff in 29 hospitals in Metro Manila, as of writing.
Robredo said they are eyeing to distribute the locally-produced PPE sets this week after their doctor consultants approved the use of the tafetta silver back lining fabric for it.
Each set will be disinfected and individually wrapped before distribution, and will come with a set of care instructions.
“Ang pakikipagtulungan ng aming Tanggapan sa ating mga Pinoy fashion designers upang makagawa ng protective suits ay inaasahang makakapagpabilis ng ating pagtugon sa mga ito (We are expecting a faster turnaround with our office’s partnership with Filipino fashion designers to create the protective suits),” she said in a Facebook post.
The vice president said they decided to partner with local fashion designers for easier coordination and faster turnaround time. Prior to this, the PPE sets that they distributed were imported from other countries. But with the global demand, the office had to wait for a while before receiving the sets, and had to deal with fluctuating prices.
Robredo also bared in her radio show that her office has set aside P14 million to procure 10,000 COVID-19 test kits from the University of the Philippines. Earlier, her office already allocated P5.3 million for extraction kits and P5.9 million for PPEs.