By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
(Photo courtesy of Canada Embassy in Manila)
MANILA – The Canadian government is donating 837,000 respirator face masks valued at PHP136 million to the Department of Health (DOH) in support of health care workers who lead the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines, Peter MacArthur, handed over the first tranche of 442,000 masks at the DOH headquarters in Manila.
In September 2020, Canada also turned over 120,000 N95 masks to the DOH.
“Canada is collaborating closely with the government of the Philippines and regional partners in the fight against Covid-19,” he said during the turnover as quoted by a statement from the Canadian embassy.
“Our collaboration includes close engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and its member states to support a coordinated and multilateral effort aimed at limiting and ending the pandemic,” he added.
The masks were provided through a partnership among the Canadian government, Asean Secretariat, and ASEAN member states to mitigate biological threats, including those resulting from the pandemic.
Since 2013, these parties have been working on strengthening biological security, biological safety, and disease surveillance capabilities in the region.
“Building on this longstanding partnership, Canada has provided additional support to Asean partners to combat the Covid pandemic. This includes donating nine and a half million units of personal protective equipment, non-medical masks to the Asean Secretariat and seven member states, including the 837,000 masks for the Philippines,” MacArthur said. (PNA)