Duterte warns US it will end VFA unless at least 20 million COVID-19 vaccines are delivered
President Rodrigo Duterte warned it will end the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) if America fails to deliver at least 20 million COVID-19 vaccines for the Philippines.
"If you want to help, if America wants to help, you deliver. Stop talking. What we need is the vaccine, not your verbose speeches. The Visiting Forces Agreement will expire. Now, if I won't agree (to further extend the VFA), they (American forces) will have to leave," Duterte said in a televised meeting between the government and infectious disease experts Saturday night.
"If they cannot deliver a minimum of 20 million vaccines, they better get out. No vaccine, no stay here," he said.
On November 11, the Philippine government decided to extend for another six months the suspension of abrogation of the VFA with the United States.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the vaccine deals with Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies will be signed by January next year.
"We are already in 85 percent of the contract for (20) million for the government and 10 million for the private sector. Then another US based, India based vaccine, we might have our contract signed by January. Pfizer also by January and also Moderna we also have initial arrangement for 20 million doses,'' said Galvez.
''So all in all, if we get Novavax, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and also Moderna, we might have more or less 80 million doses," he said.
Galvez said just recently Gamaleya of Russia also negotiated for 25 million vaccines while negotiations with Sinovac are ongoing. Robina Asido/DMS