MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte clarified Thursday that he harbors no ill feelings toward the United States (US).
Duterte made the clarification during his pre-recorded Talk to the People aired Thursday night, stressing that he even appreciates the US government’s “good will” to donate coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines to the Philippines.
“So sabi nila galit daw ako sa Amerika. Hindi ako galit sa Amerika, lalo na kung magbigay sila ng bakuna (They say I’m mad at America. I’m not mad at America, especially if they give us vaccines),” he said. “I do not have anything against America. Lahat ito (All of this), pooled together, this will I hope bring the country out of the morass of pandemic.”
Duterte issued the statement, as he acknowledged that the country still hopes to procure or get more donations of Covid-19 vaccines from other countries like China and the US.
“Alam mo mga kababayan ko, mga Pilipino, you know, wala tayong sariling factory para sa bakuna kaya tayo bumibili at umaasa pa. Umaasa pa rin tayo na may magbigay pa ng tulong kagaya ng China. Bago lang nagbigay ng tulong. Amerika (You know, my fellow Filipinos, we don’t have our own factory for vaccines, that’s why we purchase them and hold high hopes. We hope that we could still get assistance from China and America),” he said.
The US government has so far donated at least six million Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines.
The donated vaccines include those developed by pharmaceutical giants Johnson&Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
On Monday, National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the US has pledged to donate more American-made vaccines to the Philippines to ramp up the country’s immunization drive against the coronavirus.
The Philippines has been able to secure over 190 million Covid-19 vaccine jabs through procurement by the national government, multi-party agreements with local government units and the private sector, and donations from the COVAX Facility.
As of August 25, around 48,885,590 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have already been delivered to the country.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told Duterte on Thursday night that the country is also expecting the deliveries of 42 million vaccine doses from August 26 to September 30 and 103.59 million vaccine doses from October to December
“If that happens, siguro (perhaps) by January, we should have been able to inoculate everyone,” Dominguez said.
Also on August 25, a total of 31,433,450 Covid-19 vaccine doses have already been administered nationwide.
Around 13,371,734 individuals have been fully vaccinated, while 18,061,716 others have received the first shot. (PNA)