Duterte wants to personally welcome arrival of donated China vaccines — Palace | Inquirer News
To show 'utang na loob'

Duterte wants to personally welcome arrival of donated China vaccines — Palace

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 02:14 PM February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants to personally welcome the arrival of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government out of debt of gratitude or “utang na loob,” Malacañang said Wednesday.

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“Unang una po, sabi ni Presidente, gusto niyang salubungin yung pagdating ng Sinovac. Alam mo, Pilipino tayo, tumatanaw tayo ng utang ng loob,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing.

(First of all, the President said he wants to welcome the arrival of Sinovac. You know what, we Filipinos owe a debt of gratitude.)

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“Sa ating panahon ng pangangailangan, e talaga naman yung kaibigan nating Tsina ang nagpadala ng unang bakuna sa atin. So hindi mo matatanggal sa Pilipino na tumanaw ng utang ng loob,” he added.

(During times of in dire need, our friend China sent us our first vaccines. You cannot remove from Filipinos the practice of owing a debt of gratitude.)

China will donate some 600,000 doses of vaccines developed by Sinovac, which the vaccine manufacturer vowed to deliver to the country “sooner.”

This, after it finally secured an emergency use authorization from the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration, albeit with a recommendation not to use it on the elderly and health workers who are exposed to COVID-19 patients.

“Ang akin lang, kailangan magpasalamat. Nakita niyo naman ginawa naman natin lahat para makuha yung gusto ng nakakarami, lalo na yung gustong brand ng oposisyon,” Roque said, seemingly pertaining to western vaccine brands.

(For me, we need to thank them. We did what we could to secure vaccines the most people prefer, especially the brand that the opposition wants.)

But Roque noted that this will not affect other issues concerning the Philippines’ bilateral relations with China.

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“Nagpapasalamat lang po ang Presidente dahil sa panahon ng pagsubok, Tsina nanaman ang nagdeliver…Hindi po masama na ipakita ang ating utang na loob. Ang Pilipino po, sabihin niyo na ang gusto niyong sabihin, hinding hindi po tayo inggrato,” Roque said.

(The President is only thankful because at times of trials, China has once again delivered. It’s not wrong to show debt of gratitude. Filipinos, no matter what people say, are no ingrates.)

Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech were supposed to be the first to arrive in the country mid-February via the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, but its delivery was stalled by issues on the indemnification agreement.

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TAGS: COVID-19 Vaccines, Malacañang, Palace, Rodrigo Duterte, Sinovac
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