PH will not pay vaccine reservation fees – Duterte

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President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to procure Covid-19 vaccines made in China and Russia as he lashes out at Western pharmaceutical companies demanding advance payment for their vaccine research and development efforts.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks to the population after holding a meeting with key members of the Interagency Emerging Infectious Diseases Working Group (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on September 14, 2020.

In his public address Monday evening, Duterte claimed that drug companies had asked for a “reservation fee” to ensure the Philippines would get a supply of their vaccine once it became commercially available.

“In other countries, they want a bago tayo deliver-an advance (before delivering the) vaccine. Eh kung ganun, patay tayong lahat (if that’s the case, then we’re dead), ”Duterte said.

The president said that even though these drug companies he declined to name were at an advanced stage of clinical trials, he would not be able to pay the reservation fee as it was against Philippine laws.

He noted that the country’s public procurement law prohibits the government from purchasing products that are not yet on the market or are not yet manufactured.

“There is nothing final, and you want us to make a reservation by depositing money?” You must be crazy, ”the president said.

“The Philippine government procurement law does not allow you to buy something that does not exist or that has yet to be produced. This is a very demanding law and you always have to reckon with, you know, prosecution and going to jail, ”he added, referring to Republic Law 9184 or to the“ Law on Reform of Civil Servants ”. public markets “.

Duterte said these companies were not welcome in the Philippines because they wanted others to fund their research and development.

“Better get out of this country, we don’t need you,” he added.

Duterte said he preferred vaccines from China and Russia, noting their “generosity” to the Philippines when “nothing at all was in sight” at the start of the pandemic.

“If the vaccine from Russia and China is equally good and effective, like any vaccine invented by any country, I will buy first,” Duterte said.

“Noong naghirap tayo (when we were having hard times) the only countries that offered to help and said, ‘Don’t worry when we make one up, we will give it to you,’ was Russia. [and] then China, ”he added.

“Kaya sabi ko, we will give preference to Russia and China as long as their vaccine is as good as any other on the market,” he said.


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