Richard Juan did not hesitate to go beyond borders and overcome boundaries to extend a hand to the healthcare workers who have been on the frontline combating COVID-19. The actor-host recently purchased protective equipment in Hong Kong and donated the supplies to various hospitals in Metro Manila.
As medical gear has become scarce in the Philippines, Richard immediately coordinated with his contacts overseas to look for the needed items to donate to the Filipino frontliners.
“There is a severe lack of supply here in the Philippines as most of the suppliers that I know do not have stocks anymore, which is why I decided to tap my friends and family in Hong Kong to look for available supplies. I just wanted to find ways to support our frontliners who are risking their lives for us and I’m just trying to do my part. I grew up in Hong Kong before spending almost ten years in the Philippines. It feels good in the sense that I’m able to maximize this connection that I’m blessed with to somehow help the Philippines,” he said.
He shared that he got his stocks of gear from the same supplier he had when he ordered face masks in January for the victims of Taal eruption. “During the Taal Volcano incident, we were also severely lacking in N95 masks and I was very eager to help. That’s why I tapped into my friends and family in Hong Kong that time to see whether I can bring some over. So for COVID-19, it is actually the same supplier. She is extremely nice and did not charge me exorbitantly in any of the transactions because she knows that these are all for donation in order to save lives,” he relayed.
Despite the difficulty in transportation, our team was able to donate and deliver medical supplies to 6 hospitals — Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, Rizal Medical Center and Ospital ng Maynila — this week with the help of my friends at @lalamoveph! A MASSIVE thank you to our frontliners at the hospitals — including the doctors, the nurses, the lab technicians, the cleaners, the guards — who are all risking their own lives in order to save lives of our fellow Filipinos. You guys are truly OUR REAL LIFE SUPERHEROES! Please, let’s set aside our differences and solve this crisis together — let’s all not forget that our real enemy here is #COVID19... hindi kababayan natin! Kaya I know as long as we work together, we will win this fight! LABAN! LABAN! LABAN! 🇵🇭 🇵🇭 🇵🇭
So far, the Kapamilya star has already donated medical gear to six hospitals this week including the Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, Rizal Medical Center and Ospital ng Maynila. He shared that the next batch will be arriving soon.
The Love Thy Woman star admitted though that it was challenging to find supplies as the demand skyrocketed because of the pandemic. He also pointed out the logistics was tough.
“It was definitely extremely difficult because medical supplies are in global demand. I was very lucky to be given a small allocation but the logistics, the transportation, every step of the process, there was something to overcome. Many places are under lockdown too or have strict quarantine measures so almost all offices around the world are in a skeletal workforce. Hence, the whole process was slower than expected,” he revealed.
Richard did not allow these challenges to destroy his spirit as he was determined to deliver help to the country’s medical workforce.
The second batch of medical gears, including some of the nitrile gloves and more protective eyewear from Hong Kong, have been cleared and finally arrived today! With the help of my team, we have been in touch with a couple of hospitals already and we will be sending the supplies to our frontliners as soon as possible. It's the least that I can do. As our healthcare workers continue to combat #COVID19, many hospitals have started experiencing shortage in medical supplies. They need us more than ever. With our collective effort, we can help alleviate the challenges they are facing. So may I encourage everyone to do your part and try to find ways, big or small, to help PROTECT OUR FRONTLINERS! Kaya natin ‘to!!!! 💪🏻
“I decided to do this initiative for the frontliners because they are the ones that are really risking their lives for us. And it pains me to see that we have lost numerous doctors in this battle against COVID-19, and this is excluding nurses and other frontliners out there! Our frontliners are risking their lives just to save our fellow Filipinos and yet due to the low supply in the country, we are not able to provide the necessary protection for our brave warriors. Since they are doing their part I feel like it’s my obligation to find some ways to help them and do my part,” he stated.
For Richard, everyone has a role in combating this global crisis. “I just want to encourage everyone to maximize what they have. Some people might be good at art, maybe create art that would maybe help boost the morale of our frontliners. Some people might be good at designs, maybe try to come up with innovative ways that can help,” he highlighted.
Despite the mountain of challenges that our healthcare workers are dealing with amid the pandemic, Richard wants to remind them to never lose hope because a lot of people are ready to fight this battle with them.
He remarked, “To our frontliners, I know there are moments that you want to lose hope. Please don’t! You are not alone! There are so many people out there who believe in all of you and appreciate all of you and are in this battle with you. We are all in this together and together, we will win this fight! Laban! Laban! Laban!”