The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recognized the Department of Health’s (DOH) remarkable accomplishment on the utilization of its loan under ADB’s financing project, Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit (HEAL) COVID-19 Project.

With a record of over 70% obligation rate of its USD 825 million total loan budget intended for COVID-19 vaccine procurement and its ancillaries, equipment, infrastructure, and training, DOH was rated with excellent progress in the recently concluded HEAL 1 Review Mission and HEAL 2 Inception Mission.

“Within the implementation of the ADB Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit COVID-19 (HEAL) project, approximately 21.58 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been financed through ADB and delivered to the Philippines, and of this, 6.3 million doses have been given to priority populations as of August 2021. Other achievements of the project include procurement and delivery of 70 Patient Transport Vehicles for contact tracing, 90 mechanical ventilators, and 85 portable x-ray machines to aid patient recovery in target Local Government Units (LGUs) and DOH-owned hospitals. Despite the challenges, civil works, and procurement of other medical supplies and laboratory equipment are moving forward and will be completed as planned”, said Sakiko Tanaka, ADB Principal Social Sector Specialist.

“I would like to thank the  ADB and the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank for guiding us in this journey of a very big loan. This is the first time that we have handled this big loan with this short time frame, but I’m happy that most of the activities are already on going and our disbursements are quite high, and much ahead of most of the original timeframe that we have committed. I would also like to thank DOF with Assistant Secretary Didith Tan here, who has always been a very good help to us, and of course NEDA and DBM. My colleagues from DOH, our Procurement Service, Supply Chain Management System, our technical bureaus, Disease Prevention and Control Bureau and Health Facilities Enhancement Program Management Office,” said Undersecretary Mario C. Villaverde.

HEAL will assist the Philippines in scaling up its COVID-19 response, by providing medical equipment and supplies to health facilities that treat COVID-19 cases, and establishing pandemic subnational reference laboratories and isolation wards to strengthen testing capacity, surveillance and infection prevention and control. One of the biggest endeavours of this project is to provide timely financing for safe and effective vaccine procurement and logistics.

Note: The AVPs  “Design and Construction of Isolation Ward Facilities under ADB HEAL COVID-19 Project, Utilization of Equipment under ADB HEAL COVID-19 Project, and Logistics Management” received recognition from the Principal Social Sector Specialist.