President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said he favors government-to-government transaction most likely with China for the purchase of anti-COVID-19 vaccine to avoid corruption.
In a televised address on COVID-19 response on Tuesday, President Duterte said Chinese vaccine developers have already developed a vaccine against the virus and it will just be a matter of how to purchase and distribute it.
“But let me tell everybody that hindi kami maghingi. We will pay. So maganda sana government-to-government ang transaction. Walang corruption, wala lahat kasi government-to-government. I’m offering it to China kasi mayroon na sila,” he said in his address.
“As I have said earlier in the days that followed the COVID contamination, sinabi ko na I expect China to come up first because I believe sa Chinese expertise and knowledge. At hindi ako nagkamali, mayroon na sila,” he added.
President Duterte said government-to-government transaction will be better than dealing with private pharmaceutical companies because it will lessen the possibility of entering into anomalous deals.
The President said Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian told him in a meeting that a vaccine is already available.
“He said that the vaccine is there. It will be in a matter of — ano na lang paano i-distribute, and of course what kind of transaction would it be for them and for us,” the President said.
Chinese vaccine developers have joined other nations in the race to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. Many candidate vaccines are currently undergoing human trials around the world.
Among the leading Chinese companies are Sinovac, CanSino Biologics and Sinopharm.
Although some western nations are also close to developing a vaccine, President Duterte said he prefers sourcing inoculation from China and Russia. The Philippines and Russia agreed to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. PND