President Rodrigo Duterte gave the go signal for the Philippine government to pay in advance to ensure a supply of the coronavirus vaccine to its producers once it is made available.
Malacañang said on Thursday that Duterte made the decision based on the recommendations of National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.
Duterte previously opposed the idea of advance payments but other countries made similar arrangements to ensure the vaccine supply.
“Pumayag na po tayo na magkakaroon po tayo ng advance, kasi kapag hindi po tayo pumayag eh baka mangulelat doon sa mga bansa na makakuha ng vaccines,” Roque said.
“Noong nakita po niya ang listahan ng mga bansang nag-aadvance payment, eh hindi naman tayo magpapahuli basta meron naman tayong pondo,” he added.
Different modes of financing were approved by the president including the private-public tripartite agreements without cost to the government and the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines.
Duterte is set to issue an executive order allowing the emergency use of the coronavirus vaccine.
The United States committed to the Philippines that it will grant access to COVID-19 vaccines once they become available.
China also made the same offer to the Philippines.