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2月3日のまにら新聞から

Duterte claims EU holding hostage supply of AstraZeneca

[ 2524字|2021.2.3|経済 (economy)|econoTREND ]

By Ella Dionisio

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday claimed the European Union (EU) is holding hostage the supply of COVID-19 vaccine from UK-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

In a televised meeting with the Cabinet officials, Duterte answered the criticism his administration is receiving as vaccines have yet to arrive in the country.

Reading a news article, Duterte said the EU launched a new mechanism that might restrict the shipment of COVID-19 vaccine to non-EU countries.

“The European Union has voiced concerns that vaccines could not be sent abroad --- could be sent abroad before companies fulfilling obligations in their bloc,” Duterte reads.

“The AstraZeneca is being hostage by Europe… (The vaccine) is being manufactured in Europe,” he said.

Duterte said the country has funds to buy vaccines, debunking claims that the Philippines is being behind in rolling out vaccination program.

He said procuring vaccine, which is needed worldwide, is a fight of who will be the highest bidder and who can pay first.

“Especially if that country who is asking for a supply is the country where the factory is located… They really have it first,” Duterte said.

“We have money that is ready, on standby… So the rumors, you saw on TV… Don’t believe it,” he said.

Duterte said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB) have provided funds for vaccine procurement.

The World Bank has approved a $500 million loan to the Philippines while ADB allocated a $25 million.

Unlike the EU, Duterte said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is not powerful to be able to control the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

He said those who can purchase the vaccine can buy it as long as it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“If approved… You can buy and check if it (vaccine) has stock,” he said.

Duterte asked the public to keep on trusting his vaccine czar, National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr.

“The money is not with Galvez, it is not with his people… The one who keeps the money is the bank… The money is with World Bank and Asian Development Bank,” he said.

“You know, we cannot do anything. We cannot call upon the heavens to fall on its knees to demand and be ours what is not to be simply ours… So just keep your faith in government because (vaccine procurement) is Galvez’ job,” he said.

Duterte told the people that "at the end of the day, you will see that everything has been done in accordance with the rule of law". DMS

経済 (economy)