Mandaluyong City — In a luncheon meeting today, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon recognized the contribution of the Australian government to PRC, particularly its COVID-19 response operations, and honored Australia’s outgoing ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Steven J. Robinson.
In his speech, Gordon acknowledged Australia for its support in the timely establishment of the PRC molecular laboratory in Port Area, Manila, the largest of its kind in the Philippines. The laboratory was set up in June 2020, three months after the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and the Philippine government declared a community quarantine in the National Capital Region.
Gordon noted that Australia was also one of the first to donate negative-pressure ambulance units to the PRC, which are designed for transporting patients with contagious diseases, such as COVID patients. Gordon also thanked the Australian embassy for donating a Hyundai HD65-based food truck, which is part of PRC’s Hot Meals on Wheels Program, one of PRC’s interventions in disaster-affected communities.
The objective of the friendship between Australia and the Philippines, according to Gordon, is “to make sure we succeed in our effort to alleviate human suffering.” “We got a friendship we will never forget,” he said.
In his response, Ambassador Robinson acknowledged the Australian Agency for International Development for making the accomplishments possible and described the camaraderie between the PRC and the Australian Embassy as “intense.”
Also present during the event were Her Excellency Monica van Daalen, ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands; Counselor Thanh Le of the Embassy of Australia; Mr. Julian Tollestrup, First Secretary at the New Zealand Embassy; Mr. Gopal Mukherjee of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; Nathan Ramalingompillai of the German Red Cross; Paul Anthony Drossou of the Netherlands Red Cross; Megan Kate Lilley of the Finnish Red Cross; and PRC officials.