China to donate 500,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses to PH
MANILA, Philippines — China will donate 500,000 vaccine doses to the Philippines as both nations coordinate to curb the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday.
“The State Councilor informed the Secretary of China’s intention to donate 500,000 doses of vaccines to the Philippines, in keeping with President Xi’s commitment to President Duterte,” read the statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
However, a DFA official said Chinese government will choose the pharmaceutical firm for the donated vaccines.
“Since it is a donation, it will be up to the donor normally to determine which companies the vaccine will come from, but China has said it will take into consideration our side’s needs,” Foreign Affairs executive director for strategic communications Ivy Banzon-Abalos said in a message to reporters, when asked which vaccine will be donated from China.
So far, the Philippines made an agreement with China’s pharmaceutical firm, Sinovac. The vaccines from Sinovac are expected to arrive by February.
Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm, however, has yet to give its decision on conducting vaccine trials in the Philippines.
Aside from the vaccine donation, the two countries also signed the Philippines-China Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation, which has 500 million in Chinese currency renminbi worth of grant.
“The agreement makes available a grant of 500 million RMB to finance livelihood projects, infrastructure facilities, feasibility studies for major projects and other mutually agreed projects,” said DFA.
China said it would also ramp up collaboration on the infrastructure projects of Philippine government’s Build Build Build program.
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