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4月29日のまにら新聞から

Duterte offering P20 million to Filipinos who can develop respirator

[ 388 words|2020.4.29|英字 (English) ]

President Rodrigo Duterte is offering a P20-million reward for any Filipino who could develop a durable respirator, Malacanang said on Tuesday.

This as Duterte ordered the Department of Science and Technology and the Food and Drugs Administration to get more people to operate their offices for 24 hours amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.

"As I said, we are not operating under normal battle conditions. We are operating in a crisis. That's why I told the FDA and (Fortunato) Boy (dela Peña), DOST Secretary, to double their people. And the FDA as well as the DOST laboratories...your office must run 24 hours," he said during his televised public message aired Monday night.

He ordered the concerned agencies to add more medical technologists and tap graduates of medicine who are still waiting for the results of their board examination.

Meanwhile, in a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte would be giving a reward of P20 million to any local developer of respirator, which could be manufactured in the country.

"The President also is giving P20 million bounty for any Filipino who can invent local respirator, which he said could outlast the life of the patient," he said.

In the same televised message of the President, Dela Peña, who was present in the event, admitted that the Philippines could have shortage of ventilators in the event that there would be more coronavirus infections.

"And at present, number one, the average number of ventilators in small hospitals is really very, very small fraction of what is really needed. And secondly, the importation of ventilators has become harder because of the competition on the supply of ventilators," he explained.

To address the shortage, he said DOST came out with the project called "Ginhawa" where the DOST, in cooperation with various groups, has been undergoing final production of the three prototypes of ventilators.

"Hopefully if the prototypes will work in our test patients at the ICU, we can continue with the mass production. There are also already identified electronics companies that are capable of producing these," Dela Peña added.

He said aside from the University of the Philippines-Manila, the DOST also invited other interested parties who want to develop ventilators.

So far, he said there were around eight other interested groups that want to do the ventilator research. Celerina Monte/DMS