By Martin Sadongdong
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received P35 million worth of assistance from the Australian government which will be used to expand the V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief General Felimon Santos Jr. received various hospital and personal protective equipment to support a 30-room expansion of the V. Luna Medical Center’s infectious disease ward.
Lorenzana and Santos received the donations from the Australian government represented by the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson and Australian Defence Attache Group Captain Ian Goold.
The turnover ceremony was held at the V. Luna Medical Center on Thursday.
Among the donations were P17.9 million worth of medical equipment including motor electric beds, pulse oximeter, electrocardiogram (ECG) machines, defibrillator, patient monitor, electric suction machine, infusion pump, mobile radiography system, and steam sterilizer.
Lorenzana expressed gratitude to Australia for its donations which, he said, would be a big help in the military’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Now, more than ever, we need to increase the capacities of our hospitals to combat the virus,” he said.Meanwhile, Santos also conveyed his appreciation to the Australian government for its help to the AFP.
“We hope that the cooperation of the two nations [will] continue as the whole world collectively faces the threat of this unseen enemy,” Santos said.
For his part, Ambassador Robinson said the gesture was one of the ways to “invoke the spirit of mateship and ‘bayanihan'” between the two countries.
The Philippines and Australia have a long-term commitment to work together as partners in addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic as well as in advancing regional security and stability, said Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds.