The Philippines has received valuable medical and cold chain equipment from Japan worth some P3 billion, the Department of Health (DOH) announced on Friday.
The Japanese Embassy on Friday formally turned-over the donations through the office of DOH officer-in-charge Ma. Rosario Vergeire.
Japanese Economic Minister Nihei Daisuke led the ceremonial turnover, accompanied by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief representative Sakamoto Takema and Lung Center of the Philippines executive director Vincent Balanag Jr.
Vergeire said the donations consisted of a portable X-ray machine, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, a CT scanner, refrigerated vans, a wing van, and ambulances.
Vergeire said the equipment will be “given to the areas that needed them most.”
Japan also constructed and renovated some health centers, including one in Caloocan City, Vergeire added.
“The Japanese government had been supporting us throughout this difficult situation we have right now and we are very much appreciative of that,” Vergeire said.
Vergeire said the donations “will greatly boost the Philippines’ arsenal against COVID-19.”
“Through this, we can further expand our campaigns in order to reach more vulnerable sectors of the population, contributing to our common goal of ending COVID-19 globally,” Vergeire stressed.
“Truly, this gesture of solidarity by Japan reflects our common ethosof building global communities and brings us one step closer to our shared aspiration to win the fight against COVID-19,” she noted.
The $2-million technical cooperation project, administered by the JICA, aims to assist the Philippines’ vaccination program. The project includes the provision of 600 refrigerated containers, two vehicles with freezers, two plain vehicles, as well as webinars on usage and maintenance.
The pandemic experience has shown the significance of vaccines not only for COVID-19 prevention, but also for disease prevention. Minister Nihei delivered Ambassador Koshikawa’s message.
“This collaboration with JICA on cold chain transport will ensure that vaccines are delivered across the country safely and efficiently while retaining their efficacy,” the envoy said.
The ambassador also described the donation as another milestone to JICA’s more than 60 years of contribution to the Philippine healthcare system.