Philippine Emergency Medical Assistance Team (PEMAT) Aims for WHO Emergency Medical Team Badge

PEMAT philippines medical emergency assistance

The Philippine Emergency Medical Assistance Team (PEMAT) has taken a significant leap toward securing the prestigious World Health Organisation (WHO) Emergency Medical Team (EMT) Badge. 

This advancement comes after a thorough Pre-Verification Visit conducted by WHO representatives on April 23. The visit focused on evaluating PEMAT’s actual camp layout, which served as a testament to its capability to deliver quality healthcare services during disasters or public health emergencies with adherence to established deployment standards.

The Pre-Verification Visit

The Pre-Verification Visit aimed at mentoring PEMAT to ensure compliance with technical standards for patient care. This was led by a team comprising EMT Consultant for Logistics Training Eystein Grusd of the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, Jorge Durand from the WHO Headquarters, and Princess Mhyco Esguerra from the WHO Country Office. These standards, agreed upon by the EMT community, encompassed logistical and human resource aspects.

During the visit, the PEMAT camp layout was scrutinised to assess its readiness to provide medical assistance in emergencies. Evaluations included the organization of medical facilities, accessibility to resources, and the overall efficiency of response mechanisms. The team also reviewed PEMAT’s triage, treatment, and evacuation protocols, ensuring alignment with international best practices.

Importance Stressed by the Department of Health

Assistant Secretary Ariel Valencia of the Department of Health (DOH) underscored the significance of this endeavour in advancing a responsive healthcare system. He emphasised its implications not only for Filipinos but also for other nations requiring humanitarian assistance. Valencia expressed the DOH’s anticipation and highlighted the critical role PEMAT’s inclusion in the WHO emergency medical teams roster would play in national and international emergency responses.

PEMAT’s Perspective

Janice Calixtro, PEMAT’s Point Person, articulated the team’s aspirations towards achieving global classification. She emphasised the objective of aligning with international standards in national deployment. Calixtro elucidated that this initiative stemmed from the necessity to bolster the emergency medical team’s self-sufficiency during deployments. The goal is to ensure that once deployed, PEMAT is equipped with adequate personnel, logistical resources, and outpatient facilities to support the deployment efficiently without further burdening the affected population.

A Step Closer to Timely and Efficient Response

The global classification sought by PEMAT isn’t merely about acquiring a badge but about enhancing the effectiveness of emergency response systems. It is about being at par with international standards and ensuring that the response is timely, efficient, and people-centred. By meeting WHO’s stringent criteria, PEMAT aims to set a benchmark for national deployment, contributing significantly to emergency medical assistance within and beyond the Philippines.

Next Steps for PEMAT

Following the Pre-Verification Visit, PEMAT is now focused on addressing any identified areas for improvement. This includes refining logistical arrangements, enhancing training protocols, and further streamlining operational procedures to meet WHO standards comprehensively. The team will collaborate closely with WHO and other relevant stakeholders to implement these enhancements efficiently.

Additionally, PEMAT is committed to ongoing collaboration with WHO and other relevant stakeholders to enhance its capabilities continuously. This includes participating in training programs, sharing best practices, and actively contributing to the global discourse on emergency medical response.


PEMAT’s pursuit of the WHO Emergency Medical Team Badge marks a significant milestone in strengthening emergency healthcare capabilities. This endeavour underscores the commitment of Philippine healthcare professionals to uphold global standards. With each step towards global recognition, PEMAT reinforces its dedication to saving lives and alleviating suffering at home and abroad.

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