PH Navy ship sails to China to fetch PPEs

Published April 21, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


By Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine Navy on April 21, Tuesday, sent BRP Bacolod (LS550), a logistics support vessel, to China to pick up personal protective equipment (PPEs), which the government bought last month for local frontliners battling the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

(Philippine Navy / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Philippine Navy / MANILA BULLETIN)

Rear Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Navy flag officer in command, said the deployment of BRP Bacolod was their response to the call of National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to assist the government in bringing home the medical supplies.

A send-off ceremony was held at the Crabba Pier in Sangley Point, Cavite, which was witnessed by Rear Adm. Loumer Bernabe, commander of the Philippine Fleet, and Cmdre. Toribio Adaci, commander of the Fleet Marine Ready Force.

BRP Bacolod, which is skippered by Cdr. Rogelio Lachica, is bound for Xiamen to fetch 23,385 boxes of PPEs stacked in containers at the Zhangzhou Port.

The sail to China is expected to take one week.

At least 33 container vans from Pacific Roadlink Logistics, Inc. (PRLI) were onboard the ship to serve as store rooms of the PPEs.

Bernabe emphasized the importance of the mission to bring back the medical supplies within the soonest time possible as he wished for the safe voyage of the personnel of BRP Bacolod, regarding them as “heroes.”

“Always bear in mind that you are doing this for our country and our people in the glory of God,” he told the troops.

Last month, the Department of Health procured one million sets of PPEs worth P1.8 billion from China to address the need of medical experts, healthcare workers, and other frontliners for protective gears.

Several thousands have already been delivered to the country through the Philippine Air Force’s C-130 cargo plane, which has been making flights to and from China every day, with the help from private airlines and shipping companies.

The PPE sets are being turned over to the Office of Civil Defense, which takes the lead in the distribution of supplies to COVID-19 referral hospitals, testing laboratories, and quarantine facilities.