Manila — On October 25, the U.S. military donated intensive care unit (ICU) beds and COVID-19 vaccine cold storage units, valued at over Php2.075 million ($40,914) to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The turnover of medical equipment and supplies was made official at a ceremony at AFP General Headquarters attended by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines David Gamble and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jose Faustino Jr. The donation is intended to support AFP Health Service Command represented by the commander, Brig. Gen. Edgar Cardinoza.
“The AFP is grateful to the United States government for the donations, which will surely enhance our capacity to afford our military personnel and their dependents the best healthcare services that we can provide,” General Faustino said.
The U.S. government’s latest donation is part of a larger assistance that provides ICU beds, essential protective equipment, and vaccine cold storage units for rapid distribution to support COVID-19 efforts in high-risk areas across the country.
“This is just another step in our long partnership as treaty allies that has been going strong for 70 years,” Acting DCM Gamble said. “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Philippines and the AFP in this fight against COVID-19.”
Representatives from the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group-Philippines joined Acting DCM Gamble during a tour of the Victoriano Luna General Hospital following the ceremony that provided a firsthand look at how past and future donations will be used to support the AFP’s COVID-19 care facilities.
“We will ensure that these equipment and supplies will be fully utilized to fulfill not only our COVID-19 response efforts, but also other medical needs of our personnel who incessantly render faithful and dedicated service to the Filipino people,” Gen. Faustino said.
To date, the United States has provided more than Php1.9 billion ($37.47 million) to support the Philippines’ COVID-19 response.
The Philippines is the United States’ oldest treaty ally in Asia. This joint U.S.-Philippine partnership builds on decades of bilateral military cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster response, counterterrorism, maritime security, and many other fields.