Duterte criticizes Western pharma firms, has no effect on vaccine negotiations with US companies – Palace

President Rodrigo Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte

The Philippines will continue to negotiate with American companies for a possible supply of vaccines against COVID-19 despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s criticism of Western developers for allegedly demanding advance payment.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said President Duterte’s “profit, profit, profit” mindset of Western companies has no effect on the negotiations.

According to Sec. Roque, the Philippines will still negotiate with anyone and President Duterte wants to ensure that we will have a vaccine no matter who develops first.

The country’s membership in the Gavi COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, which aims to have “fair and equitable access” to COVID-19 vaccines, will also remain.

“Wala naman pong epekto ‘yan. We continue to negotiate with everyone. The President wants to ensure na magkakaroon tayo ng vaccine kahit sino pa unang maka-develop niyan,”said Sec. Roque.

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