China to donate more vaccines, envoy says
The Philippines will receive more donations of COVID-19 vaccines from China which, according to Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, has become the country’s “largest and stablest source of vaccines and other antipandemic goods.”
“As the Philippines is facing increasing demand of vaccines, we will donate more and substantively increase supply of vaccines to the Philippines,” Huang said at the opening on Thursday of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, which was funded by a grant from China.
According to Huang, China has been standing in solidarity with the Philippines since the pandemic began as it was the first to donate COVID-19 vaccines, export a large amount of vaccines to the country, donate test kits, provide personal protective equipment and send a medical expert team.
So far, Beijing has donated 1 million doses of Sinovac to Philippine government which has bought 25 million doses of the China-made vaccine.
“There are a thousand reasons to make our relationship a success and not a single reason to weaken it. Let us work together to advance our time-honored friendship and deepen our mutually beneficial cooperation in a new era for more benefits for our peoples,” Huang said.
In hailing the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge project, Huang said the Chinese contractor and the Filipino team worked together to overcome the adverse effects of the pandemic to complete the undertaking.
“The completion of the (Estrella-Pantaleon) Bridge marks a major progress of the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program,” he said.
The inauguration of the bridge also signified that multiple China-Philippines government-to-government cooperation projects were “entering into a new stage of harvest,” he said.
More projects would also break ground or be completed soon, he added.
President Duterte, who was present at the inauguration, said the project’s completion was a major milestone of the government’s infrastructure program.
He commended the Department of Public Works and Highways for building the bridge and thanked China for financing the project.
“The P1.46-billion funding that they have extended highlights the goodwill of the Chinese people and its government, and further cements the good relations between our two countries,” he said.
He added that the new bridge would help ease traffic congestion along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila and improve the mobility of people and goods.
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