On COVID-19 research and development efforts

The Palace views that while the Administration continues to conduct information, education, and communication campaign on the use of face masks/face shields as part of preventive efforts to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, government scientists are working diligently to find local treatment for COVID-19 patients.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recently approved the clinical trial for lagundi and the clinical trial for tawa-tawa as supplement COVID-19 treatments. These trials are in addition to the melatonin, convalescent plasma, and virgin coconut oil trials.

The Philippines, through the DOST, has likewise joined the global action in developing a vaccine against COVID-19. We have been in touch with several institutions to collaborate on vaccine development and allow local manufacturing, if possible. Our country is part of the World Health Organization Solidarity Trials for COVID-19 treatments.

Our concern, however, also involves long-term plans. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is now reviewing the recommendation to establish a Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines that will serve as a premiere research institute in virology and diseases to strengthen local vaccine development in the country.