On Wednesday Canada announced that it is providing Philippines CAD$1.1 million as Covid-19 aid to assist the struggling country’s battle against the lethal coronavirus pandemic.
As coronavirus pandemic is a threat to every country worldwide, the virus does not recognize geographical borders, therefore only synchronized actions all over the world can overcome it, says the Canadian embassy. The Government of Canada is pleased to partner with and help the Philippines against coronavirus.
In Southeast Asia alone, the Philippines leads with one of the largest numbers of COVID-19 cases. With nearly 23,000 infected cases and 1,017 death count, it is riddled deeply with the deadly virus.
Children in the Philippines are also not attending schools until Officials can say with confirmation that a vaccine against Covid-19 is available.
Though the lockdown has been successful in slowing down the transmission of coronavirus, the economy of the country has been devastated and has left millions unemployed and in need of real and quick social assistance. For decades, overseas Filipino workers are what the Philippines relied heavily on, or OFWs, to push economic growth and maintain a cushion against financial crisis with remittances.
The embassy outlined what the Covid-19 aid would include, they say the Philippines will receive diagnostic equipment, reagents, testing kits, and laboratory consumables as an additional part of the CAD$5-million global project funded by Canada through the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Philippines GDP was expected to plummet to US$6 million, according to probability found by Ateneo Centre for Economic Research and Development in Manila
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Hans Cacdac says 45,000 workers should be expected to return by air and sea this very month. 26,700 workers have already returned to the country. The returning workers may not be able to return to their provinces immediately after return until tested and released.
Each passenger on board is expected to be tested for the virus and placed in a 14-day quarantine. They will do so on either their ships, onboard, or in hotels. Some workers are being met with hostilities in the spaces they are situated, says one report.
The Philippine Coast Guard, whose job it is to process workers returning to the country reports several 14,418 workers have been tested for the virus between the dates May 2 and 10. During this period airports were shut down to incoming flights because the testing capacity of the country was being stretched out due to increasing numbers of new arrivals.
To help the country, Canada is also supplying Covid-19 aid to Philippines reproductive health services and unhampered provision of sexual health services during Covid-19. It is providing CAD$400,000 to the existing CAD$17.8 million Sexual Health and Empowerment Philippines (SHE) project with Oxfam.
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This investment is complementary to the current response activities, this includes the establishment of hotlines in case of emergency for not only health services but also for gender-based violence. It also includes acquiring and distributing PPEs for barangay health care workers and distribution of important family planning informative materials, says the embassy.
Further funding for the core activities of the SHE projects which stands to improve the availability, quality, and uptake of health services of 85,000 women that are of reproductive ages will serve as a support for good. This project also helps adolescent boys and girls in conflict-affected and less privileged regions in the country.
Canada also supports other Association of Southeast Asian Nation-states, this includes Philippine. Their support includes supplying PPEs building enough capacity for the Philippines-led ASEAN BioDiaspora Virtual Centre within the ASEAN Emergency Operations Center Network.