MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday nearly 1 million sets of personal protective equipment (PPEs) it procured for frontline health workers fighting the novel coronavirus would start arriving in April.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the first batch of protective gears numbering to 200,000 would arrive in the country between April 1 to 6.
The remaining 700,000 PPEs will arrive between April 6 to 24, she said in an online press briefing.
Vergeire also said that the DOH had distributed medical supplies and PPEs to 14 hospitals in the country.
Among the beneficiaries are the Philippine Orthopedic Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital and Lung Center of the Philippines.
During the press briefing, Vergeire explained that purchasing the PPEs amounting to P1.8 billion underwent a procurement process from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Asked why the PPEs bought by DOH cost P1,800 while the Office of the Vice President got theirs for P400 per set, she had this to say.
"Ang sinasabi lang ho natin, hindi pare-pareho ang mga PPEs na binibili ng ibang grupo at binibili ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan," Vergeire said.
(What we are saying is that the PPEs bought by other groups and DOH are different.)
"Ang set na prinocure namin ay pinakacompleto. Ibig sabihin, meron po tayong 8 na mga PPE types sa loob ng set na sinasabi natin," she added.
(The set we procured is the most complete. Meaning it has 8 types of PPEs inside the set.)
These include an N95 mask, overalls, gloves, head cover, shoe cover, googles, surgical mask and surgical gown.
Two health facilities tapped by DOH as dedicated hospitals to COVID-19 cases previously said they were running short of protective gears.
The Philippines has so far recorded 2,084 cases of the novel coronavirus, with 88 deaths and 49 recoveries.