PLA and AFP join hands in the common battle against COVID-19

In the late night of 12 May 2020, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian and Philippine Defense Secretary Lorenzana attended the turnover ceremony of COVID-19 medical supplies donated by Ministry of National Defense of China. The ceremony was also graced by Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad of Office of Civil Defense, Vice Admiral Gaudencio C Collado Jr., Vice Chief of Staff of Armed Forces, Ltgen Allen T Paredes, Commanding General of Philippine Air Force, Presidential Chief of Protocol and Foreign Affairs Adviser Robert Borje and Defense Attaché Mr. Sheng Dazhi of Chinese Embassy.


Ambassador Huang said in order to help the Philippine overcome the COVID-19 pandemic at the earliest and in accordance with the current needs of the Philippines in fighting against the pandemic, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense decided to donate a batch of emergency medical supplies to the Philippine side. These include over 80,000 pieces of surgical masks, protective suits and protective goggles. We hope these urgently-needed medical supplies could be allotted to the frontliners as soon as possible so as to provide effective protection for them.


Ambassador Huang emphasized that in the anti-pandemic cooperation between our two countries, both armed forces have showed a valuable spirit of mutual support and help. Recently, the Philippine military aircraft shuttled between the two countries almost every day, bringing back medical supplies purchased by the Philippine government from China. China provided utmost facilitation for the flight and transportation permits of Philippine military aircraft. When the Philippine navy vessel BRP Bacolod City (LS-550) traveled to Zhangzhou Port of China to ship back the medical supplies, China not only swiftly issued a special permit, but also sent a navy ship to escort the Philippine navy vessel. All the above demonstrates both China's sincerity in helping the Philippines' fight the pandemic and Chinese army's goodwill towards the Philippine military and its people.


Ambassador Huang said, the COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge that threatens mankind. Virus respects no borders or races. All the countries should put their citizens' health at the first place and jointly fight against the pandemic with the vision of a community of shared future for mankind while not politicizing public health issue by stigmatizing and sticking the virus label on a specific country or region. All politicians should refrain from exploiting this pandemic for political gain and putting the people's health aside. China will as always, stand together with the Philippine government and people to jointly overcome the pandemic till the day of a final victory.


Secretary Lorenzana expressed his sincere thanks to the Chinese Military on behalf of the Philippine Armed Forces for the donation of medical supplies. He also appreciated China's support to facilitate the Philippine military aircrafts and navy vessel to bring back the much-needed medical supplies from China.


Secretary Lorenzana said, "That will go a long way to help our fight against COVID-19. The Defense Department will support all government hospitals and some private hospitals if they are in need of the PPEs especially." He was pleased to see both military sides playing an active role in the fight against the COVID-19, which will contribute to deepening mutual understanding and trust.   


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