Amid the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) scare which has produced a disruption in the global supply of face masks, gowns, gloves and other protective gear, the Philippine Red Cross, headed by its chairman and CEO, Senator Richard J. Gordon on Monday donated face masks to the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Gordon said the donation of 25,000 pieces of face masks to the BOC is in line with his pronouncement that front-liners should be given priority in the distribution of face masks and other protective gear because they come directly in contact with infected persons or possible carriers of the disease.
“We have to provide our front-liners with face masks and other protective gear. Our doctors, nurses, and other hospital personnel come in close contact with people infected with the novel coronavirus and patients under investigation. Likewise, the personnel of agencies like the Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, airports and seaports and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also interact daily with inbound travellers, some of whom may be carriers of the disease. We should protect our front-liners, it would also help prevent local transmission of COVID-19,” he said.
For his part, Customs Commissioner Leonardo Guerrero, who personally led the BOC delegation to accept the donation, expressed gratitude to the PRC, under Gordon’s leadership, for the face masks.
“We did not expect to be included in the list of agencies that will be given face masks. But we are very, very grateful. We give our whole-hearted thanks to the PRC and of course, to Sen. Gordon,” he said.
After being given a tour of the PRC building, including the Operations Center (OpCen), where he listened to a presentation on how the PRC operates and its Blood Bank, Guerrero was very impressed by the PRC’s capabilities it’s state-of-the-art facilities, and its array of disaster response and management equipment and vehicles. “This is very impressive. Dapat may ganito din ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno,” he said after seeing the PRC’s OpCen.
Last Friday (February 21), the PRC also donated 10,000 pieces of face masks to the DFA’s Office of Consular Affairs.