MANILA – The Philippines will continue to support the World Health Organization (WHO) amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Malacañang said on Thursday.

The assurance was made a day after United States (US) President Donald Trump announced his decision to temporarily stop funding WHO pending a review of the world health body’s response to Covid-19 pandemic.

In a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte and the Palace respect Trump’s decision to halt funding to WHO.

Roque, nevertheless, said the Philippines would continue to cooperate with WHO.

“It’s not for the Philippine President to tell other Presidents what to do. Pero tayo, suportado natin ang WHO dahil nakita naman natin na kung wala pong WHO, walang namumuno sa coordination dito sa laban natin sa sakit na Covid-19 (But on our part, we support WHO because it leads the coordination when it comes to the fight against Covid-19),” he said.

Trump on Tuesday ordered the suspension of US funding to WHO, as he claimed that the world health body is “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

The US is the largest donor of WHO. Its donations make up 14.67 percent of all voluntary contributions given globally.

Founded in 1948, WHO serves as a central coordinating body for international health policy, particularly on infectious disease.

WHO works with its 194 member-states to combat communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic that affects over 200 countries, WHO develops a database to collect the latest findings and knowledge on Covid-19.

Roque assured WHO that it has the full support of the Philippines.

“As far as the Philippines is concerned, we stand committed to WHO and we will give our contribution, when the need arises,” he said.

He also encouraged other countries to give its support to WHO.

“So sana po lahat ng bansa sa daigdig eh ipagpatuloy po ang kanilang kooperasyon sa WHO. At importante rin po ang pagbibigay ng pondo sa WHO (We hope all countries would continue to cooperate with WHO. It’s also important that they give funds to WHO),” Roque said.

There have been 1,918,138 Covid-19 cases recorded in 213 countries, according to the data released by WHO on its official website.

In the Philippines, there are now 5,660 Covid-19 infections, with 362 deaths and 435 recoveries. (PNA)

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