MANILA - A Vietnamese tycoon has donated thousands of face masks and personal protective equipment to the Department of Foreign Affairs to aid the country's fight against the fast-spreading COVID-19, the foreign office said Wednesday.
The DFA said in a statement their frontliners received more than 750,000 face masks and 16,500 PPEs from Vietnamese tycoon and philanthropist Johnathan Hanh Nguyen.
The department said that the donation was brought to the country via a chartered flight arranged by Nguyen with the assistance of the Department of Finance, Bureau of Customs and other government agencies.
The donation was turned over to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. by Johnathan’s son, Henry Nguyen, during a ceremony held at the DFA in Pasay City.
The turnover ceremony was also attended by DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay, DFA Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre, and Nguyen Hong Hanh and Vu Anh Son, Chargé d’Affaires and First Secretary respectively of the Vietnam Embassy in Manila.
According to the DFA, Nguyen was "instrumental" in establishing the first direct flight between Manila and Ho Chi Minh in 1985. The tycoon had lived in the Philippines when he was younger, according to his company's website.
He is also chair and founder of the IMEX Pan Pacific Group, one of the leading multi-industry corporations in Vietnam that has luxury retail and food and beverage brands. His son Henry is president of the corporation's division in the Philippines (IPPG-Philippines).
Vietnam is among countries with the lowest incidence of COVID-19 despite its proximity to China, the origin of the virus. It has recorded less than 300 cases and zero deaths.