March 29, 2022
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided PHP 46 million worth of equipment anew to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), which has a long-standing cooperation relationship with JICA, to help continuing COVID-19 recovery efforts. The turn over ceremony was held on March 24 at the Department of Health (DOH) with Secretary Francisco Duque, RITM Director Dr. Celia C. Carlos, Japan Ambassador to the Philippines KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko and JICA Philippines Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema.
JICA has provided laboratory equipment to RITM such as Pharmaceutical refrigerator, Automated Immunoassay Analyzer, Deep Freezer, among others to further strengthen RITM's capacity in detection, treatment, and management of COVID-19 cases and to respond to the need of having sufficient number of medical equipment.
"This assistance complements our other support to Philippine COVID-19 recovery efforts including the grant finance and technical cooperation for cold chain storage and logistics as well as Rapid Antigen Test Kits to be distributed to the Department of Health in the coming weeks. JICA hopes to make a certain contribution to a resilient healthcare system in the Philippines," said JICA Philippines Chief Representative SAKAMOTO.
"JICA's assistance will further strengthen the laboratory capacity of the RITM, which is vital to the country's COVID-19 response: the Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate + Vaccine or the PDITR + V strategy," said DOH Secretary Francisco Duque.
Aside from the recent equipment and cold chain assistance, JICA has also extended a JPY50 billion (equivalent to around PHP 22 billion) COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan and another JPY50 billion (equivalent to around PHP 22 billion) JICA Post-Disaster Standby Loan Phase 2. At the onset of the pandemic, JICA also provided laboratory equipment for COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, and treatment to San Lazaro Hospital, another partner institution of JICA for its health-related cooperation over the years.
JICA is the Philippines' leading ODA partner, with total value of JICA programs amounting to JPY260 billion (equivalent to around PHP 115 billion) in 2020, and about 60 ongoing development cooperation projects nationwide.
From left to right: RITM Director, Dr. Celia Carlos and Chief Representative of JICA Philippines, Mr. SAKAMOTO Takema
From left to right: RITM Director Dr. Celia Carlos, DOH Secretary Dr. Francisco Duque, Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines Mr. KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko, newly appointed Chief Representative of JICA Philippines Mr. SAKAMOTO Takema, and former Chief Representative of JICA Philippines Mr. AZUKIZAWA Eigo