Customs to fast-track release of foreign medical gear donations: DFA

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2020 12:08 PM

MANILA - The Bureau of Customs has been ordered to fast-track the release of donated personal protective equipment by other countries to help health frontliners fighting the rapid spread of COVID-19, a Foreign Affairs official said Tuesday.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido “Dodo” Dulay assured the public that foreign donations of medical gear will be immediately released to health workers following coordination with the Bureau of Customs and the Food and Drug Administration.

“Kapag dumating po ang mga personal protective equipment ng mga health workers, mabilis po itong makakapasok sa bansa dahil kailangan natin,” Dulay said in a televised press briefing.

(When the personal protective equipment of health workers arrive, these can easily enter the country.)

The FDA, in a March 20 memorandum, eased clearance guidelines for Customs to expedite the release of such medical gear as face masks including N95 masks, shoe covers, gloves, head covers, and gowns.

For the mentioned medical gear, the FDA said foreign donations of such would no longer require the clearance of the agency.

Several hospitals and health workers have called for donations of personal protective equipment due to the dwindling supply.