Japan inks grant aid to assist Philippine battle versus COVID-19

Japan inks grant aid to assist Philippine battle versus COVID-19

 On June 8, 2020, Ambassador HANEDA Koji signed and exchanged notes with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. for Japan’s grant aid to assist the Philippines in its battle against COVID-19.
   The grant, amounting to 2 billion yen (approximately 944 million pesos) of support to the Department of Health, involves the provision of state-of-the-art medical equipment like CT scanners, X-ray machines, MRI systems, and hemodialysis machines, among others, to be installed in key hospitals and medical institutions. It also includes the setting up of laboratory surveillance sites across the country to augment the health sector’s capacity to address COVID-19 and other emerging or re-emerging diseases that may occur in the future.
   Since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, the Government of Japan has extended its emergency grant assistance equivalent to almost 5.8 million dollars to frontliners through the Philippine Red Cross, UNICEF, UNHCR and UNDP. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for its part, is providing technical cooperation for capacity building on COVID-19 measures.
   As a long-standing supporter of universal health coverage and close partner of the Philippines under the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative (AHWIN), Japan deems it extremely important to strengthen the health system of this country from the medium- to long-term perspectives in order to make it well-equipped to tackle any public health emergencies. This grant aid for the upgrade of its health infrastructure is seen to serve as a boost to the Philippine medical system both now and in the long run.