DOH requests DBM for purchase of ventilators worth P1.3 B amid COVID-19 crisis

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2020 06:50 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it has already asked the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to purchase ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

“Tayo ay nakapag-request na ng mechanical ventilators sa PS (Procurement Service) DBM na nagkakahalaga po ng around P1.3 billion,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised DOH briefing.

(We have already requested for mechanical ventilators from the PS DBM that costs around P1.3 billion.)

“Sa ngayon po, ito ay kanilang ginagawan ng market study upang masiguro po na competitive at cost effective ang ating proposal at iyon pong mapo-procure natin na mga units,” she said.

(For now, they are still doing a market study to ensure that our proposal and the units we’re procuring are competitive and cost-effective.)

The use of ventilators is important for severe and critical cases of COVID-19 and other patients with severe lung infections. The machine helps patients who have trouble breathing. 

Earlier reports said there are only more than 1,263 mechanical ventilators across the country. Of that number, only 153 are in Metro Manila, where most COVID-19 cases are.

The health official also said that they are expecting the arrival of the following personal protective equipment for health workers: 300,000 N95 face masks, 271,100 gowns, 18,000 coveralls, 26,250 goggles, 52,500 shoe covers, 52,500 aprons, and 500 non-contact infrared thermometers.

Vergeire said the PPEs will be distributed by the Office of Civil Defense to different hospitals and quarantine facilities. 

Of the 8 quarantine facilities in the National Capital Region and Region III, 3 are already accepting patients, she said.

These are: 
- Las Piñas Rehabilitation Center (26 patients admitted, 50-bed capacity)
- Quezon Institute (48 patients, 100-bed capacity)
- Rizal Memorial Coliseum (17 patients, 112-bed capacity).

As of Monday, the Philippines has logged 6,459 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 613 patients who have recovered and 428 who have died.