Thanks to the global ascent of Hallyu -- exports of cultural content including computer games, K-pop, and broadcasting programs -- Filipinos have been enamored of anything Korean.
During this time of the pandemic, a lot of Filipinos turned to Korean content online to pass the time as entertainment has become a big part of our lives.
Truth be told, Korean entertainment is not the only reason why Filipinos should be thankful for the nation that made “Korean Wave” a global phenomenon.
As the world continues to battle COVID-19, the Korean government has been continuously sending aid and assistance to the Philippines to help its fight against the deadly pandemic when cases began to rise last year. The bilateral ties and friendship between the two countries have deepened because of the continuous support and cooperation amidst these challenges.
“Korea Stands Together With The Philippines,” is the banner of the KOICA Philippines in response to the challenges and difficulties brought about by COVID-19.
KOICA stands and acts together to achieve inclusive and sustainable development in the Philippines. It is continuing to work with the Philippine Government, civil society organizations, and other agencies as main partners in delivering grant aid.
In the COVID-19 situation, KOICA continues to provide assistance and stronger collaboration with the Philippines in order to rise above the challenges brought by the pandemic.
These projects are based on ODA Korea: Building TRUST (Transparency, Resilience, Unity, and Safety Together) that The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of Korea launched as an initiative to support its partner countries with COVID-19 response and sustainable development programs last June 2020.
KOICA was established in 1991 by the Korean government to provide Grant Aid and Technical Cooperation Organization to contribute to the advancement of international cooperation through various projects that build friendly and collaborative relationships between Korea and developing countries.
KOICA Country Director Song Min Hyeon who is in charge of Regional Planning, Budget, and Program evaluation responded to some of the questions pertaining to COVID-19 projects.
Korea has had a long-standing partnership with the Philippines since Filipino soldiers fought for South Korea’s democracy during the Korean War more than 70 years ago. Through KOICA, the South Korean government extends the friendship and assistance to The Philippines. Aside from that, the Philippines is a priority recipient of grant aid due to its high potential to achieve its development goals.
Through KOICA, South Korea continues to build mutual cooperation, partnership, and respect with the Philippines. The organization has conducted some Emergency Support Projects as part of the COVID-19 response last year. It has turned over 400 metric tons of well-milled rice valued at USD 400,000 to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to support the Philippine government’s relief efforts for poor and vulnerable families in Metro Manila and neighboring areas who have been affected by the community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rice was locally produced in Western Visayas where KOICA supported agriculture projects.
KOICA also donated 7 walk-through air-conditioned COVID-19 test booths with a total cost of USD 123,000 to the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BOI) and six hospitals through the Department of Health (DOH). In addition, KOICA is also proceeding the additional support such as developing the sound pressure room to strengthen the response of epidemic disease of the Korea-Philippines Friendship Hospital in Cavite. Likewise, we held a webinar for health professionals from the Department of Health (DOH) and international organizations as well as the medical staff of the hospital regarding the COVID-19 Response last December 2020.
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