Gov’t eyes use of P73.2 billion in loans to buy COVID-19 vaccines for 60 million people
MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration is planning to use P73.2 billion worth of loans to buy COVID-19 vaccines for 60 million Filipinos.
That amount will come from several sources — P40 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank, P20 billion from local banks and government corporations, and P13.2 billion from bilateral sources, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told the Cabinet during a pre-recorded briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte that aired late Monday night.
The P13.2 billion is the target amount that the Department of Finance hopes to raise from bilateral sources, while the P20 billion will come from Land Bank, DBP, and government-controlled corporations, according to Dominguez.
Much of the amount is “pretty much almost fixed,” with only the P13.2 billion “not completely negotiated,” he told the President.
According to Dominguez, the estimated cost of a vaccine dose is $25, or P1,200, per person. The loans mentioned, he said, would be enough to finance the vaccination of 60 million people.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque said immunizing 60 million people would be enough to achieve herd immunity, which would require 60 to 70 percent of the population to be immunized, as defined by the World Health Organization.
Duterte reiterated his desire to prioritize the vaccination of the military and the police to ensure security and the continuation of their efforts amid the pandemic.
Previously, he also vowed to place the poor people ahead of the pack for vaccination and then maybe leave the rich people to get the vaccines for themselves.
According to reports, pharma giants Pfizer and BioNTech have successfully developed COVID-19 vaccines, which may mean that United States citizens can get vaccines by the middle of December or before the year ends.
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