MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday announced that it received a P100-million donation from the Lopez Group of Companies to augment its COVID-19 response efforts.
In a statement, DOTr said the conglomerate “expressed its support for the commitment of the DOTr in addressing the pressing need to increase the limited capacity of the country’s health system.”
The government agency cited the letter from the First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPHC) of the Lopez Group of Companies. It added that FPHC’s letter was addressed to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago, and to Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant Admiral Joel Garcia.
Also, DOTr said FPHC was “inspired” by the approach taken by the agency in providing assistance to returning seafarers and other Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
DOTr has partnered with private shipping companies to convert passenger ships into temporary quarantine ships as hospitals and health facilities struggle to accommodate COVID-19 patients.
These quarantine ships will serve as temporary accommodations for returning seafarers and other OFWs as they complete their 14-day quarantine, as mandated by the Department of Health. The ships will accommodate both asymptomatic persons and persons who have not undergone COVID-19 testing.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade thanked the conglomerate for its donation, stressing that it will be of great help to fund the needs of his agency, especially the Maritime sector, in the operation of the quarantine ships and the quarantine terminals.
“It is truly overwhelming that during these trying times, the support and selflessness of our private sector partners keep on coming to back us up. We are extremely grateful to the Lopez Group for this enormous help. Gagastahin natin ito ng naayon sa tama at nararapat. Maraming kababayan ‘ho natin ang siguradong makikinabang dito (We will spend this according to what is right and appropriate. Many of our countrymen will surely benefit from this),” Tugade said.