Australia gives P68 million to AFP to enhance Covid response capabilities

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The Australian government has granted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) P68 million to enhance the military’s capabilities to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“In the midst of a complex and volatile security environment, Australia has continuously extended its support in the endeavors and advocacies of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and of course, our national government. In particular, Australia has been a dependable partner in confronting the prevailing health crisis,” AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said on Friday.

Sobejana and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana accepted the donation from Australian Ambassador to Manila Steven Robinson and Defense Attaché, Col. Paul Joseph Barta in a ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

These additional medical supplies and equipment will be used by the AFP Health Service Command (AFPHSC) to continuously address the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The Australian government’s initial donation of hospital and personal protective equipment was received last June 11 at the Victoriano Luna Medical Center in Quezon City.

Sobejana said the Australian donation came at the right time when there is an opportune need for improved medical resources to ensure the safety and well-being of AFP personnel.

“The AFP has undoubtedly stood strong and resilient in the midst of this pandemic, yet we also recognize the need for better and accessible medical equipment to vigorously ensure the welfare of our personnel. The donation of P68 million worth of medical supplies and equipment to our health and service command will surely be of great benefit to our soldiers and their dependents,” he added.

The AFP chief also assured the donors that their contributions will be maintained and maximized accordingly.

He also thanked the Australian government and guaranteed the persistence of a steadfast partnership.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines will continuously work alongside our Australian counterparts to promote our shared interests and aspirations of our two nations and to further strengthen our decades-long mutually beneficial partnership,” Sobejana said.

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