News Release

President Duterte may visit China to thank President Xi for China’s vaccine donation

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech after the ceremonial turnover of CoronaVac (SINOVAC) COVID-19 vaccines at the Bulwagang Kalayaan in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on February 28, 2021. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday, February 28, announced that he may visit China by the end of the year to personally thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for China’s COVID-19 vaccine donation and tour a school named after her late mother Soledad.

“I told the (Chinese) Ambassador, I would like to thank and to travel China even one day just to tell President Xi Jinping thank you and I fly home,” the President said.

“I want it to do personal because China has been good and the — it… The way that helping us right now, I suppose that a debt of gratitude should be paid by a personal visit,” he said.

President Duterte welcomed the arrival Sunday of the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech.

China’s government has donated 600,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine as the Philippines gears towards a vaccine rollout aimed at defeating the coronavirus pandemic.

The President said he likes to go to Xiamen first to visit a school built in honor of his mother before going to China’s capital to meet President Xi.

“You know, my mother was one of the first educators of the Chinese school in Davao,” he said during the press conference following the handover ceremony for COVID-19 vaccine.

President Duterte recalled that in 1950, when his family migrated to Davao, her mother was quickly hired as an educator in a Davao-Chinese school.

“She was one of the earliest educators. So in China, they have built a — or a building they named after my mother. So I’d like to go to Xiamen before going to Beijing,” the President said.

The President’s mother passed away in 2012 at the age of 95. PND