THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines’s Resident Representative Titon Mitra formally handed over 500,000 medical masks to Health Undersecretary Mario C. Villaverde in support of the ongoing efforts to protect frontline health-care workers fighting the pandemic.
The donation, estimated to be worth P8.5 million, came from the Soong Ching Ling Foundation and was facilitated by UNDP Philippines and UNDP China, in coordination with the Philippine Embassy in Beijing and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“With the rising number of confirmed [coronavirus disease 2019] Covid-19 cases all over the country, health-care workers are at a high risk of contracting communicable diseases,” Mitra said. “[This] supply of personal protective equipment [in the form of medical masks will help ensure those] who are risking their lives day-in and day-out are well-looked after too. Their courage should never be understated.”
Villaverde formally accepted the donation on behalf of Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III and noted that their department “commits to use the masks to protect the most vulnerable populations during the pandemic.” He stated that, “with dedicated allies [such as the UNDP], we are optimistic we have the strength to rise above this crisis.” UNDP