Press Release | 18 February 2022

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), in a virtual recognition ceremony, lauded the Department of Health (DOH) for its effective implementation of the Health Systems Enhancement to Address and Limit COVID-19 (HEAL) and its succeeding HEAL 2 Projects.

“HEAL 1 and 2 are collaborations between the DOH and the ADB in order to scale up the country’s public health capacity to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Both projects were recognized as “on track” projects, and the Philippines was identified “the first among ADB’s developing member countries to reach commendable milestones,” said Mr. Kelly Bird, ADB Country Director.

The HEAL 1 project, which started on October 13, 2020, has provided 90 mechanical ventilators, and 85 units of portable X-ray machines to local government unit hospitals; 70 Patient Transport Vehicles for contact tracing, and 641,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Centers for Health Development (CHDs); serviced 21,772 patients through transport vehicles; 18,129 patients with mechanical ventilators; and 112,195 patients with portable x-ray machines.

A total of 233 healthcare workers have been trained on the Biosafety Training and Hands On Molecular Training in collaboration with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health (UP-NIH) through the HEAL 1 project.

The HEAL 2 also helped the country by financing safe and effective vaccine procurement, and delivering 45.6 million doses of Sinovac Vaccines and 40 million doses of Pfizer Vaccines. All vaccines procured through the HEAL 2 project have arrived in the country - 73.96 million doses were distributed while 36.69 million doses were administered as of December 2021.

“Through the strengthened partnership with the ADB, the country’s COVID-19 response has continuously and significantly improved. Such collaboration between the DOH and ADB paved the way for millions of Filipinos to get vaccinated against COVID-19. We thank the ADB for providing invaluable support for the Philippines to be able to obtain essential equipment and procure these life-saving vaccines that have ensured Filipinos are protected against the threat of COVID-19,” said Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III.