Amidst the misinformation being peddled all over social media, the Office of Civil Defense remains committed to support and assist our valiant frontliners as they untiringly care for our COVID19 patients nationwide.
This assurance comes in response to false and malicious posts, statements, and messages made by individuals who claim that there has been a mishandling of donated items on the part of the Philippine Government and its agencies. OCD shall not deviate from fulfilling its mandate under the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law (Republic Act No. 10121) and Administrative Order No. 27 dated 31 March 2020.
AO 27 tasked OCD to consolidate all donations given to the National Government and the Department of Health. This task includes the inventory, allocation, and orderly and swift distribution of personal protective equipment (PPEs), medical supplies, and equipment to hospitals, other beneficiary facilities, groups, and establishments.
AO 27 does not bar direct donations to other departments, bureaus, offices, state colleges or universities, government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs), or government hospitals or medical facilities. Private institutions and individuals are still encouraged to continue assisting COVID19 frontliners and hospitals through their own donation initiatives. AO 27 merely directs donees to inform OCD of their received donations to ensure equitable allocation and distribution of assistance.
Being the lead agency of the Logistics Cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s response cluster, OCD has proven experience in the management, allocation, and delivery of various essential items during emergencies, hazards, calamities, and disasters. Even prior to the issuance of AO 27, OCD has been distributing PPEs and other medical items and supplies to various COVID19 hospitals nationwide.
These accomplishments were made possible through the support of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the Department of National Defense, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other member-agencies of the NDRRMC who are all working together to accomplish our mission of addressing the COVID19 health emergency.
The instructions prescribed under AO 27 are not new to OCD. It can be recalled that as the executive arm and secretariat of the NDRRMC, OCD previously coordinated donations from both foreign and local donors during the response operations for the Mindanao earthquakes and Taal Volcano Eruption. The said donations were directly provided to affected local government units. In the case of the COVID19 response efforts, the supplies, both procured by OCD and those donated by various individuals and organizations, were directly given to COVID19 attending hospitals. Notably, OCD is a member of the Task Group Resource Management and Logistics under the National Task Force on COVID19 headed by Secretary Lorenzana.
To heal as one, we have to act as one. That is the Bayanihan spirit. Private donors are not being prevented to help, especially if they want to assist their chosen frontliners and hospitals directly. They are most welcome to do that and their efforts will be much appreciated. By keeping track of donations from all sources, OCD is able to perform its critical task of managing resources to ensure that those who are most in need are served without delay and discrimination.
To be clear, donations are NOT collected and are NOT distributed to Malasakit Centers. Moreover, Senator Bong Go does NOT and will NOT interfere with the task of the OCD. We are well-informed through our communication with their office that Senator Go connects private donors directly to their intended beneficiaries and helps facilitate the delivery of the donations. We encourage everyone to do their part in providing immediate assistance to our frontliners who are sacrificing their lives to protect the Filipino people and defeat the virus.
The government’s objective is to ensure the wellbeing of our frontliners by providing additional PPEs and medical supplies to augment their hospital’s stocks, which came from donations made by individuals and groups to the National Government and to the DOH, as well as from OCD-procured stocks. If frontliners are well protected, they can continue effectively taking care of all COVID19 patients.
In the light of the COVID19 health emergency, OCD has initially procured various PPEs and essential medical supplies and immediately distributed them to support COVID19 frontliners and hospitals. These supplies are supplemented by the donations from various local and international organizations, foreign governments and philanthropic individuals.
The public can rest assured that OCD will faithfully discharge its mandate as it has done since its establishment 65 years ago.