MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte has given the economics team the green light to find ways to encourage the private sector to manufacture vaccines in the country, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said yesterday.
While the pandemic is not ending anytime soon and the country remains at the mercy of a limited supply of vaccines around the world, the government is considering the idea of attracting vaccine manufacturers to set up production in the country in order to to support the vaccination campaign.
“The president has already given instructions to relevant agencies to encourage our private sector to get into vaccine manufacturing,” Avisado told the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum yesterday.
“We also need to come up with our own initiative rather than just depending and relying on the global supply,” he said.
Most of the shootings that have arrived in the country have so far been donations, as the government has yet to receive the blows it ordered.
“The virus is here to stay and so we have to find ways to make our own vaccines,” Avisado said.
Several cabinet members, he said, met on Tuesday evening to discuss the initiative.
Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato De la Peña, Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Vaccine Tsar Carlito Galvez, Commerce Secretary Ramon Lopez, FDA Director Eric Domingo, among others, were present at the Of the reunion.
“We all agreed that the best thing to do is to encourage our private sector partners to get into this business. They have a market ready and the government will buy all of their vaccines, ”Avisado said.
The country used to manufacture vaccines for certain diseases.
In the 1930s, the Philippines had a vaccine and serum laboratory in Alabang that made vaccines against tetanus, tuberculosis and anti-snake venom.
This was then sold and reused in a mall in the latter part of the century.
In 1909, the old Bureau of Science offered vaccines against diseases like diphtheria, cholera, typhoid and dysentery.
The Ministry of Finance (DOF) said earlier that the government had secured a budget of 82.5 billion pesos for the purchase of vaccines as well as logistics needs.
This includes 58.4 billion pesos ($ 1.2 billion) in loans obtained from multilateral banks Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); Allocation of 2.5 billion pesos for the Ministry of Health under the 2021 national budget; 10 billion pesos allocated to finance the COVID-19 vaccine under the Bayanihan to recover in one act and 11.6 billion pesos from savings and other public development aid.