President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered concerned government agencies to speed up the delivery of medicines and medical supplies for patients infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In a televised public address on Monday night, Duterte urged agencies to course medicines and medical supplies through Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez, the chief implementer of the National Policy Against Covid-19.
“Ang utos ko ngayon is i-deliver ninyo ‘yung medicines kay General Galvez, Secretary Galvez (My order now is to deliver medicines to Secretary Galvez),” he said.
Duterte said city health officials lack the manpower to immediately deliver the medicines to hospitals in their respective areas.
“Huwag na sa (Don’t deliver it to) city health because city health has no manpower to attend to all of these things. Ito naman kasi kay (But) Galvez, he can distribute the burden to the different participating government agencies,” he said.
He said agencies should waste no time in sending the medicines to hospitals and other health facilities.
“Gusto kong madalian (I want it done quickly). So i-deliver ninyo ito (it) if it’s intended for the provinces outside of Metro Manila. Iyong malayo (those far away) it’s being ferried by plane, ‘yung malapit lang of course by land pero gusto ko na dumating sa madaling panahon (those nearby of course by land but I want them to arrive as soon as possible),” he said.
The President also requested the Philippine Air Force-Tactical Operations Group (PAF-TOG) to help out with the delivery efforts in distant areas.
“I have requested na ‘yung para sa mga malalayo na lugar i-deliver na lang ng Air Force doon sa TOG (that the Air Force deliver medicines in distant places),” he said.
He said the PAF could even use military helicopters.
“If it is intended for a place that’s too far away and not easily passable, then we can use the military helicopters. But with one condition, that on the ground there are troops that will secure the crew and the equipment itself. Mahal ‘yang helicopter ko at sayang (My helicopter is expensive and it would be a waste). Let us not be reckless about this,” he said.
Last March 31, Duterte ordered that donated medicines and medical supplies for Covid-19 shall be coordinated with and transmitted to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for consolidation.
Under the order, the OCD is directed to prepare an inventory of all the donations to the national government and to DOH that would be consolidated.
The OCD will also coordinate with concerned government agencies to determine the beneficiary health facilities, groups, or establishments in the country.
Galvez is in charge of overseeing the consolidation, management, inventory, recording, and distribution of these donations. (Azer Parrocha/PNA)