MANILA - The Gatchalian family on Sunday donated P30 million worth of personal protective equipment to the national government to boost the country's fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Brothers Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian and Valenzuela City Rep. Weslie Gatchalian turned over the donation to Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana and COVID-19 Task Force chief Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. at the Villamor Airbase shortly after the goods were delivered from Fujian, China.
"Na-experience din namin sa Valenzuela na talagang mabilis yung paggamit ng PPEs at iba pang mga medical supplies kaya dapat tuloy-tuloy yung mga supplies sa mga hospitals at medical establishments natin," Sen. Gatchalian told reporters.
(We also experienced the fast depletion of PPEs and other medical supplies in Valenzuela, that's why we have to make sure that the supply in hospitals and medical establishments would be continuous.)
"This is just a small contribution to our frontliners to make them feel na andito tayo para tumulong at para maramdaman nila na hindi natin sila nakakalimutan," he said.
(This is just a small contribution to our frontliners to make them feel that we are here to help and to make them feel that they are not forgotetn.)
The shipment from China contained:
- 20,000 pieces of hazmat suits
- 3,000 pieces of face shields
- 3,000 pieces of goggles
- 100,000 pieces of gloves
- 42,000 pieces of KN-95 face masks
- 500,000 pieces of surgical face masks
The Gatchalians purchased the PPEs directly from a factory in China, while the national government provided the C-130 and transportation costs to bring the donated items to the Philippines.
"Safe yun kasi bago umalis ng China, na-disinfect na naman yung mga equipment na yun so I'm very confident na safe yan. Pagdating sa Office of Civil Defense, another disinfection yan," Lorenzana said.
(It is safe to use because these equipment were disinfected before leaving China, so I'm very confident that it's safe. It will be disinfected again once it is delivered to the Office of Civil Defense.)
The Gatchalian family earlier donated other medical equipment to residents and frontliners in their bailiwick Valenzuela City, neighboring Bulacan province, Aparri, Tacloban City, and various government hospitals in Metro Manila and Batangas.
The clan is also eyeing to possibly donate COVID-19 laboratories, Sen. Gatchalian said.
"Importante na meron tayong laboratories not only in Metro Manila but regional. So may kausap rin kaming mga suppliers and our family is also going to donate some laboratories outside of Metro Manila," he said.
(It is important to have laboratories not only in Metro Manila but also in the regions. So we are already contacting possible suppliers and our family is also going to donate some laboratories outside of Metro Manila.)
Gatchalian patriarch William T. Gatchalian and matriarch Dee Hua T. Gatchalian head the board of Wellex Group, which has stakes in plastic manufacturing, oil exploration, mining, real estate, and hotel and casino industries.
Health facilities, including large hospitals in the capital region, earlier appealed for PPE donations, saying their supplies have been depleted due to the influx for COVID-19 patients and possible carriers of the new coronavirus.
As of April 26, the Philippines has 7,579 COVID-19 cases, with 501 deaths and 862 recoveries.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, and has spread to over 200 countries and territories. Based on the latest tally of the World Health Organization, the global infection has reached more than 2.8 million, with deaths reaching nearly 200,000.