Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana welcomed New Zealand’s new ambassador to the Philippines Ambassador Peter Kell in a virtual call held on 27 August 2020.
The meeting served as an introductory call for Ambassador Kell, following the postponement of their meeting last March due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Ambassador Kell condoled with Secretary Lorenzana and the families of the military personnel who died in the recent Jolo incident. He then updated Secretary Lorenzana about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand, where new cases were reported in Auckland following a period of 102 days of having no active cases. He further emphasized the significant role of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), specifically in managing isolation facilities, planning, and assisting police forces in checkpoints.
Secretary Lorenzana commended New Zealand’s proactive response in monitoring and controlling COVID-19 cases. He also gave updates about the situation in the Philippines, as well as the government’s efforts in combatting the ongoing pandemic.
“We hope to flatten the curve sometime in September,” Secretary Lorenzana noted, as he explained the measures taken by the national government and LGUs in containing and managing the infectious disease.
New Zealand government provided US$1.5M assistance for people affected by COVID-19 in Mindanao; and contributed funding for the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) to support 15 LGUs in their response to COVID-19. DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE