PH confident of possible virus vaccine deal due to ‘independent foreign policy’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is confident of striking a possible deal once a vaccine for the coronavirus disease is developed abroad, citing its “independent foreign policy”.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this following reports that the government has reached out to various international pharmaceutical companies that are currently developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, which has already infected over 15.2 million people worldwide.
“Tayo po ay may independyenteng relasyon o independent foreign policy. At dahil po diyan. Dahil kaibigan tayo ng lahat—ng China, ng Russia, ng Amerika, ng Europa—na kung sino man ang maka-develop ng vaccine ay tayo po ay tinuturing na kaibigan nila,” Roque said in a televised press briefing Thursday.
[We have an independent relationship or independent foreign policy. Because of that—because we are all friends of China, of Russia, of America, of Europe —whoever develops the vaccine is our friend.]
Earlier, the Department of Health bared that the Department of Foreign Affairs is positioning the country for negotiations with manufacturers from Taiwan and China.
Prior to this, the government has also expressed interest in the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
It also reached out to pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, as well as to biotechnology company Moderna in the United States about possible purchase once their respective vaccine becomes available.
Roque noted that President Duterte had promised to provide Filipinos with the COVID-19 vaccine whatever the cost is.
“Ang sabi ni Presidente kahit magkano ‘yan hahanapan niya ng pondo. So ‘wag na tayo mag-usap kung magkano ‘yan. Ang sabi niya, inulit po niya, ‘Ibebenta ko lahat ng ari-arian ng gobyerno para makabili ng vaccine’,” the Palace official said.
[The President has said that whatever the cost is, he will find funds. So let’s not talk about how much that is. He said he repeated, ‘I will sell all government property to buy the vaccine’.]
“Bagama’t tutol po diyan si Finance Secretary Dominguez, ‘yan po talaga ang paninindigin ng ating Presidente,” he added.
[Although Finance Secretary Dominguez opposed it, that is really the stand of our President.]
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