The government will spend P82.5 billion to buy COVID-19 vaccines and fund the rollout of a massive immunization program aimed at stopping the coronavirus’ onslaught, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reported on Wednesday.
“I’d like to just — sabihin ko sa Pilipino kung saan tayo kumukuha ng pera,” President Duterte said in a weekly address to the nation on the government response against the virus.
“The significant updates of procurement and finance: vaccines – ang source, unprogrammed funds; foreign multilateral and bilateral loans; domestic loans. Nandiyan ‘yan naka-on deck na ‘yan.”
Breaking down government expenditure, he said P70 billion will be spent for logistics and other supplies provided for by the 2021 General Appropriations Act; Department of Health (DOH), P2.5 billion; and the Bayanihan 2 providing continuing government appropriation, P10 billion.
“Lahat-lahat mayroon tayong P82.5 billion para sa COVID. Palagay ko sapat na ‘yan,” he noted.
The President also expressed his gratitude to private entities and individuals who made commitments to help the government in its mass vaccination against the coronavirus.
Among those who expressed readiness to assist the government include businessman Manuel Pangilinan, the Ayalas, Joey Concepcion, Aboitiz Group, Unilab and others.
Pangilinan and the Ayalas are providing well-experienced supply chain managers and consultants to help the government in its mass immunization program.
“Pasalamat tayo for those persons mentioned and the agencies who are trying to — who are there to help us in the — well, in the vaccination of the population. Kailangan kasi ‘yan ng organization eh. You have to have a structural thing there,” he said.
“Well, we cannot remember everybody mentioned but sabihin ko na lang na magpasalamat ako sa inyo. It’s a big deal really for — for you to be conscious also of the problem and trying to give a helping hand,” he added.
The government expects to receive its first delivery of COVID-19 vaccine next month, which will initially be used to inoculate the country’s frontliners before rolling out its vaccination program to the general population. PND