Remarks by Michael Klecheski, U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires, Launch of USAID TB Innovations and TB Platforms Projects

Friday, August 24, 2018
Launch of USAID TB Innovations and TB Platforms Projects
U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Michael Klecheski and USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy joined Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque and Department of Social Welfare and Development Assistant Secretary Glenda de Rama Relova in unveiling the commitment wall to officially mark the launch of two USAID TB projects, TB Innovations and TB Platforms.

[As Prepared]


I am very happy to be here today as the U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development, known as USAID, launches two new projects in support of the Philippines’ goal to end tuberculosis.

TB takes a toll on individuals, families, and communities. It hampers economic growth, social stability, and health security both within and beyond borders. In the Philippines, TB causes billions of pesos in economic losses each year.

The United States government shares the Philippine government’s vision for a healthier and more prosperous country. We commend the Philippine government, and the Department of Health, for their unwavering commitment to combat this disease. By eradicating TB and attaining a healthy population, the Philippines will be better positioned to advance into an upper-middle income country and achieve its development goals under Ambisyon Natin 2040.

The U.S. government, through USAID, has provided over 4 billion pesos in the past 10 years to support the Department of Health’s TB elimination program. As a result of our partnership, the number of Filipinos accurately diagnosed for TB has doubled and more than 2.5 million Filipinos have been treated.

But we still have a lot of work to do. More than 1 million Filipinos have active TB, and many do not know that they have the disease. Winning the fight against TB requires a wide range of partners — many of whom are here with us today — to closely collaborate and deeply invest resources and technical expertise.

The two USAID TB projects we are launching today will contribute to the long-standing and productive partnership between the U.S. and Philippine governments. The TB Innovations and Health Systems Strengthening project and the TB Platforms for Sustainable Detection, Care, and Treatment project will operate for the next five years. They have a combined value of more than 2.5 billion pesos.

Through these projects, USAID will continue to work closely with key national, regional, and local governments, health providers, and civil society partners to dramatically scale up TB prevention, care, and treatment interventions.

Just a few minutes ago, the Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development announced a new TB resource. I congratulate Secretary Duque and Acting Secretary Orogo for the new module.

By incorporating education sessions on TB prevention, control, care, and treatment into health classes for recipients of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, they will reach even more people in the fight against TB.

We call upon everyone here to join us in the fight against TB. You can be a hero by fighting the stigma around TB. I encourage you to tell others that TB is curable and that, once cured, a person can move on to lead a healthy and productive life. You can be a hero by knowing the symptoms of TB and by bringing your family, friends, or neighbors to your local health center for diagnosis and treatment. With everyone’s participation, we have high hopes that we can end TB in our lifetimes.

The U.S. government commends the Philippine government for the important work that has taken place and is taking place. The projects we are launching today represent another important milestone to expand opportunities for all Filipinos to pursue healthy and productive futures. We will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the Philippine government to end TB.

Maraming salamat po!

Issuing Country 

Last updated: August 29, 2018

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