ON October 19, U.S. military service members in Palawan delivered intensive care unit (ICU) beds and COVID-19 vaccine cold storage units, valued at over Php758,750 ($15,175), to the Palawan provincial government to assist local partners battling COVID-19.
The donation, provided by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, was facilitated through a partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard to transport the equipment aboard the BRP Gabriela Silang from Manila to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. This is part of a larger donation that provides ICU beds, essential protective equipment, and vaccine cold storage units to the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) for rapid distribution to support medical facilities in COVID-19 high-risk areas across the country.
This donation was conducted at the request of the Palawan provincial government in response to an ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases in the local area. The ICU beds will provide additional capacity to Palawan’s COVID-19 care facilities, while the vaccine cold storage units will serve as a critical element in transporting and storing COVID-19 vaccines in support of the Philippines’ ongoing vaccination efforts.
This donation, along with future donations, supports the critical care capacity and COVID-19 vaccination efforts in rural provinces across the Philippines.
“For over a year, the provincial government of Palawan has been making efforts to strengthen our healthcare capacity to fight against COVID-19,” said Jeremias Alili, director of the Palawan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office. “This donation will help the people of Palawan a lot by upgrading our ability to fight against the pandemic. It comes at the perfect time due to the surge of new cases and will help us face this new challenge.”
To date, the United States has provided more than Php1.9 billion ($39 million) to support the Philippines’ COVID-19 response.
The Philippines is the United States’ oldest treaty ally in Asia, and 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.