Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), has pledged some USD100,000 (approximately PHP4.8 million) to the Asean’s Covid-19 Response Fund, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Friday.

The contribution is on top of Manila’s USD100,000 pledge to the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility.

Locsin said the fund will be sourced from the DFA’s own travel funds.

“In addition to my $100K pledge to the COVAX Facility, I pledged another $100K to the Asean Covid-19 Response Fund from DFA travel funds. I wish to express my gratitude to [Budget] Sec. [Wendel] Avisado for realigning DFA funds for this and the depleted Passport Revolving Fund,” he wrote in a tweet.

The Asean Covid-19 Response Fund is a special fund established in April 2020 to bolster the bloc’s pandemic response and help finance the procurement of necessary medical supplies and the development of vaccines.

The Philippines’ contribution was first announced by the top diplomat during the virtual Asean Foreign Ministers’ Retreat on January 21.

During the said meet, Locsin also echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call at the last Asean Summit to take the challenges of 2020 “in stride and strive to build back better, healthier, and more prosperous societies through deeper engagements on vital issues uniting ASEAN.”

He then urged the bloc to “maintain the momentum of our engagements in 2020 into 2021, particularly in our efforts to respond to the challenges of Covid-19”. (PNA)

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Aquilino Managbanag

By Aquilino Managbanag

Aquilino Managbanag EXPERIENCE: Four years at The Asian Pacific Post, a weekly Canadian newspaper founded in 1993 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The newspaper specialized in reporting Asian issues, and has a readership of 160,000. It has a sister publication in The South Asian Post. EDUCATION: University of Santo Tomas – Manila -- The private Roman Catholic research university is Asia’s oldest existing university. The university takes pride in keeping the Catholic faith and beliefs prominent while holding true to its centuries-old tradition of academic excellence.