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Lorenzana: 380 military doctors, nurses; 3,000 other medical staff could be mobilized in COVID-19 fight

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is confident that a lot of military medical reservists will heed the call of the government to assist in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

In a television interview, Lorenzana, the chairman of the National Task Force on COVID-19, said more than 300 military doctors and nurses and at least 3,000 other military personnel with medical background could be deployed to help.

"As of last week, we were able to get 'yung listahan sa GHQ, about 380 doctors and nurses plus about 3,000 medical... 'yung other medical personnel, 'yung mga medical aid men, med techs...Marami din ito, kung talagang matutuloy 'yung ating mobilization, then we can employ these in Metro Manila especially and in other areas that [there] are high incidents of COVID infection," Lorenzana told ANC.

"During gyera kasi, you cannot refuse if your age is still... you can still serve with your age, di ka pa masyadong matanda and you are physically fit, I think, if you are mobilized, you volunteer, you cannot refuse that. I don't know here in this medical kung magagawa natin 'yan but I'm sure a lot of soldiers will join kung mamobilize sila," he added.

Lorenzana said he would still wait for the advice of the Department of Budget and Management regarding the matter as mobilizing these personnel needs funding.

"Kailangan malaman natin sa DBM kung may pera ba..." Lorenzana said.

President Rodrigo Duterte tasked Lorenzana to tap the military medical reservists to help in curbing the spread of the virus.

Duterte had said the military will take charge in the implementation of the government's free COVID-19 immunization program for the 20 million poorest Filipinos, once the vaccine is available. — Anna Felicia Bajo/RSJ, GMA News