CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) received a helicopter, rescue boats, and trucks donated by business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan on Thursday, January 7.

“The donations signify our shared aspirations in giving our all-out support to our men and women in uniform as they fulfill their responsibilities to the nation, especially in times of disasters and calamities. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is truly grateful that we have institutions like the MVP Group of Companies who continuously help us achieve our endeavors,” AFP Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay said.

A ceremonial signing of deed of donations was led by General Gapay at the General Headquarters Building in Camp Aguinaldo. Also present were Mr. Pangilinan; Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; Philippine Army Commanding General, Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana; Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo; and Philippine Air Force Commanding General, Lieutenant General Allen Paredes.

Mr. Pangilinan who is the Chairman of the MVP Group of Companies donated the Bo 105 multipurpose helicopter through the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation Foundation. It was turned over to the Philippine Army’s Aviation “Hiraya” Regiment which has been instrumental in the aerial reconnaissance and maritime patrols over Northern Luzon, Eastern Mindanao, and Western Mindanao Command.

The Army, Air Force and Navy each received two sets of brand new rescue boats equipped with paddles and life vests from the PLDT-Smart Foundation, Inc. The General Headquarters on the other hand received three dry vans and a wing van from One Meralco Foundation, Inc.

“We have always been supportive of government endeavors, particularly in times of need. The nationwide presence of our businesses enables us to mobilize resources throughout the country and provide us with the means to augment the Government’s facilities to respond effectively to disasters and calamities,” said Mr. Pangilinan.

Meanwhile, the AFP also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Makati Medical Center Foundation (MMCF) which is also chaired by Mr. Pangilinan. The agreement is a renewal of the Public – Private Partnership for the organizational strengthening of AFP Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) nationwide.

Through this pact, technical and medical experts from MMCF will continue to impart valuable knowledge to AFP medical personnel for the improvement of services through various means without the additional financial burden.

“The knowledge and expertise you shared over the years, through this Agreement, were invaluable in keeping our troops healthy. I am truly grateful for its renewal as we, in the AFP, begin to take major steps toward the accomplishment of one of our major advocacies in promoting our troops’ mental health, which was regrettably neglected in the past years,” General Gapay said.

The AFP Chief considered the agreement another huge step that will ensure soldiers’ full access to quality health services and resources. This is in line with keeping the members of the AFP in top condition as they fulfill their duties as protectors of the people and the state.

A ceremonial turnover and blessing of the donated equipment was conducted at the GHQ Canopy area following the signing activities.

“On behalf of the men and women of the AFP, let me express my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan for his unwavering support to our organization. Even before this pandemic, his kindness and love for our country are deeply appreciated by our soldiers and the Filipino people. Rest assured that the AFP will do its part in this partnership and promises to serve our country with best of our capabilities,” General Gapay said. (Photo by: TSg Randulf Obinque PAF/PAOAFP)