Lorenzana exchanges COVID-19 notes with counterparts from Japan, China, Australia
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had exchanged COVID-19 notes with his foreign counterparts in separate phone calls recently.
Lorenzana, according to a Department of National Defense (DND) statement, discussed COVID-19 strategies with his counterparts from Japan, Australia and China.
In a phone call on May 12, Lorenzana exchanged experiences and best practices in battling the pandemic with Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono.
Lorenzana, the DND statement said, discussed with Kono the roles that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Japan Self-Defense Force played in the fight against COVID-19 and the measures they took.
Also discussed in the phone conversation between Lorenzana and Kono was the security situation in the South China Sea and East China Sea. The Philippines and Japan share something in common in their maritime security situation—Chinese aggression.
The DND statement said Lorenzana and Kono discussed “ways to further enhance bilateral defense cooperation based on common goals of peace, security and growth in the region.”
Days after discussing with Japan the maritime security situation in the South China Sea and East China Sea, Lorenzana also spoke over the phone with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Wei Fenghe on May 20, the DND said.
Lorenzana expressed gratitude for China’s donation of medical supplies and equipment worth RMB 2 million, or about P14 million. The Philippines had already bought P1.8 billion worth of medical supplies and PPE sets from China and was set to order more PPE sets and other medical supplies.
Lorenzana and Wei, according to the DND statement, committed to sustain dialogue and improve cooperation to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Philippines-China diplomatic ties.
Another phone conversation took place between Lorenzana and Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds on May 21 and discussed were the Philippines’ and Australia’s domestic response to COVID-19.
The DND statement said Australia committed support for the expansion of the infectious disease ward of the Philippine military hospital, V. Luna Medical Center, under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Program of the Philippines and Australia.
Lorenzana thanked the Australian defense chief for her country’s help. He said the Philippine defense department hoped to see the completion of the project to expand V. Luna’s infectious disease ward “so that we can use it for the purpose it was being built.”
Also discussed by Lorenzana and Reynolds were terrorism and regional security, the DND statement said.
Edited by TSB
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