• Melo Acuna

ADB to release US$25 million for vaccine purchase

ADB extends US$25 million loan to PH for vaccines


MANILA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) appropriated US$25 million to assist the Philippines buy vaccines for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) this year.


In a statement, the ADB said the The Philippines launched a comprehensive economic stimulus and healthcare support program following the surge in COVID-19 cases in April 2020.

“It has significantly improved its capacity in testing, tracing, isolating, and treating COVID-19 cases in the last 10 months. Vaccination is the next critical step to protect lives and promote livelihood opportunities,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “We stand ready to support the government in these unprecedented times and help the economy navigate back to its pre-pandemic growth path.”

The newly allocated funding for vaccine supply will follow the vaccine access and eligibility requirements under ADB’s Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX), which was launched on 11 December 2020 with a financing commitment of $9 billion for the region. To supplement the $25 million financing, ADB is preparing a follow-on project under APVAX for consideration by ADB’s Board of Directors to support the government’s efforts to procure vaccines.

The government has developed a COVID-19 vaccine road map to immunize 60%–75% of Filipinos with safe, cost-effective vaccines in an equitable manner. It is negotiating vaccine delivery with several vaccine developers. ADB is providing technical advisory assistance to the government on the national vaccine road map through a development partner coordination working group created by the Department of Finance.

The government’s vaccine supply contracts with ADB financing, including direct payments by ADB to vaccine manufacturers, will follow ADB’s procurement rules and guidelines, and ADB’s anti-corruption and integrity policy. The financing will also follow global best practices on safeguards measures, including waste management of medical supplies.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

ncing will be sourced from the US$125 million Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit COVID-19 project which the bank ratified last August 24, 2020. This will allow the Philippines to pay vaccine manufacturers in advance to secure the delivery of vaccines to its population. Government reports disclosed there are over 500,000 Filipinos with COVID-19.


“The Philippines launched a comprehensive economic stimulus and healthcare support program following the surge in COVID-19 cases in April 2020. It has significantly improved its capacity in testing, tracing, isolating, and treating COVID-19 cases in the last 10 months. Vaccination is the next critical step to protect lives and promote livelihood opportunities,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.


He added the ADB stands ready to support the government during these unprecedented times and help the economy recover.

The funding for vaccine supply will follow the vaccine access and eligibility requirements under the ADB’s Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) , which was launched last December 11, 2020 with a financing commitment worth US$9 billion for the region. To supplement the US$25 million financing, ADB is preparing a follow-on project under APVAX for consideration by the ADB’s Board of Directors to support the government’s programs to procure vaccines.

The Philippine government developed a COVID-19 vaccine roadmap to immunize some 60%-70% of the population with safe, cost effective vaccines in an equitable manner. It is in the process of negotiating vaccine delivery with a number of vaccine developers. ADB is providing technical advisory assistance to the government on the national vaccine roadmap with a partner coordination group organized by the Department of Finance.

The ADB statement disclosed the government’s vaccine supply contracts with ADB financing, including direct payments by ADB to vaccine manufacturers, will follow the ADB’s procurement rules and guidelines, and ADB’s anti-corruption and integrity policy. The financing will also follow global best practices on safeguards and measures, including waste management of medical supplies.

Over in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he welcomes this latest development. When asked which vaccine will be purchased with ADB loan, he said it will depend on the vaccines approved by the Bank after passing through strict standards observed by the government. (Melo M. Acuña)


ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa (left) and Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque (right). (Screen grab from Presidential briefing February 1,2021/Melo M. Acuna)

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