DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Armed Forces of the Philippines has around 380 doctors and nurses as well as over 3,000 personnel with medical background who may be deployed to assist in the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response.

"As of last week, we were able to get 'yung listahan sa GHQ (general headquarters), 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 said in a television interview.

Lorenzana said he will coordinate first with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the funding for such mobilization.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in a televised briefing aired on July 31, said he will tap the military to implement the anti-Covid vaccination program as soon as the vaccine is available.

Duterte has said that priority will be given to poor families, followed by the middle-income families along with the police and the military.

Earlier, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa said there are also some 3,000 policemen who completed medical-related courses who may be deployed to take part in the fight against the pandemic. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)