Personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential medical supplies were donated by Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) and University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA)-Palawan Chapter to replenish their reserves.
PSFI and UPAA-Palawan Chapter turned over some 20 bodysuits, 60 pieces of N95 masks, 30 pieces of face shields, and 100 pairs of gloves to the Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) on Saturday.
The project dubbed “Proteksyon para sa Bayani” is one of the projects under the “Tabang Palawan”, which is a joint effort of the “Para sa Bayani Campaign” of PSFI and UPAA-Palawan Chapter.
PSFI program manager Ray Angluben said that after the ONP, there are also other hospitals they will consider as recipients.
“Locally, ang partner natin to distribute ay UPAA and we also have local volunteers, yong face shields na nakita kanina galing sa students ng Fullbright,” he said.
“Ang target talaga ay frontliners and now because these PPEs are specialized, especially for hospitals, kagaya ng suites and the face shields and face masks. Kailangang, kailangangan ‘yan ng ating doctors and nurses who take care of PUI (person under investigation) patients,” he said.
Angluben believed that it could help medical frontliners amidst the scarcity of essential medical supplies to protect themselves against COVID-19.
He said that while hospitals are awaiting for the supplies from the government, the donation drive temporarily supports the needs of medical frontliners.
“Ang nangyayari ngayon ay nare-reuse ang masks, ‘yong N95 they used one more time na dapat ay tinatapon sana, pero dahil sa scarcity. Lahat kasi ng PPE even Metro Manila ay nagkakaubusan, supplies come from other countries so it really takes some time for hospitals to be able to have access to PPE,” he said.
The UPAA-Palawan Chapter president John Pontillas said that their call for donation started in realizing that the implementation of lockdown is not just as a health issue, it also covers the economy.
“Eventually, na-identify kung ano ‘yong mga priority support. Ang isang priority support ay PPE support to frontliners basically kailangan sa health. The other one is logistics, kasi ang tanong paano mo imo-move like meron ka sa Manila — like donations, doon nag-umpisa yong ‘Tabang Palawan’,” he said.
UPAA-Palawan Chapter also initially provided contact center support group for the community to easily connect with needed agencies at times like this.
They will also address the donation management to fairly distribute supplies to all hospitals and health care facilities who are in need of the supplies and to avoid the same facilities receiving donations multiple times.
“Yong donation management, ito yong isang issue na we need to handle well kasi maraming nagsu-support in terms of supplies. Kaso ang problema dito ay posibleng magdoble-doble,” he said.
“We are going to sort out (with Palawan Medical) yong needs ng hospitals and basically we have to focus on Executive Order No. 53 facilities kasi nakalagay doon kung ano yong facilities. Quarantine facilities, isolation facilities, kasi each one of these, iba-iba yong need,” he said.
Aside from PPE distribution, PSFI and UPAA-Palawan Chapter under “Tabang Palawan” also has “Tulong para sa mga Bayani” project for logistics support.
“Ito nakakatulong tayo dahil meron din flights coming to Palawan, we are able to load or send over essential cargos related to COVID-19 use example PPE, medicine, and donations. And mostly, ang natutulungan natin dyan ay medical facilities some hospitals and even some of our congressmen were able to send PPE supplies through chartered flights ng Malampaya,” Angluben said.
He said that flights going back to Manila delivers test swabs to be examined at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
He said that a few samples have been sent through the chartered flights of Malampaya starting on the first week of the suspension of transportation, including flights due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“Doon nagsimula yong tulong kasi nahihirapan na rin that time. There was no plane that was qualified to carry the samples tapos wala pa commercial flights except for the mercy flights,” he said.
The Tabang Palawan also has the Ani para sa Bayani project to provide food for frontliners from agricultural products bought directly from farmers.