Chinese vaccine donation arrives
China’s Sinovac arrives in Manila
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte and other Filipino top officials welcomed 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech brought into Villamor Air Base at 5:00 P.M. today by Xi’an Y-20 military transport air asset.
“My fellow Filipinos, we welcome this day with high hopes of finally ending the CovID-19 pandemic in our country,” President Duterte said in his remarks. He expressed his sincere appreciation to the Chinese people and Chinese government for what he described as “gesture of friendship and solidarity” which he went on to illustrate as “the hallmark of Philippines-China partnership.”
He acknowledged the efforts of Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian for helping ensure the delivery of the donation first mentioned by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his most recent two-day visit to Manila last January 15.
President Duterte said COVID-19 vaccines should be treated as a global public good and “made available to all, rich and poor alike,” where he emphasized the no nation, and nobody “should be left to suffer the ravages of this pandemic for whatever reason.”
He also expressed confidence more vaccines will be delivered until every citizen will be given the chance to be inoculated at the soonest time. He also reiterated the government’s resolve to overcome the health crisis.
Recognizing the important role of medical frontline workers, President Duterte said their contribution to efforts to minimize the spread of the virus will always be remembered.
“I encourage you to get vaccinated at the soonest possible time. And be our partner in preventing the further spread of the disease,” he said addressing the general public. He reiterated his call on everyone to follow simple rules to avert the spread of the dreaded coronavirus.
He said while China has donated vaccines to different countries, it was only in the Philippines when a Chinese air asset delivered the Sinovac vaccines.
“May be at the end of the year, when everything has settled down, I intend to make a short visit to China to just shake hands with President Xi Jinping and to personally thank him for this donation,” he said.
Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said the Chinese government donated 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines to the Philippine government with another 100,000 doses from the Chinese military to their Filipino counterparts.
“I hope the vaccines will help kick off the Philippines’ mass inoculation campaign to curb the pandemic and allow Filipinos to return to normal life at the earliest,” he said. He said he has been in receipt of messages from Filipinos for more information on the vaccines.
He said Sinovac vaccines have been inoculated in many countries and its safety and efficacy has been well tested.
Ambassador Huang said his government has assisted 53 developing countries by way of vaccines and has exported vaccines to 27 countries.
“This has demonstrated China’s determination to fight against the pandemic in the spirit of solidarity and to build a community with a shared future for mankind,” he added.
He explained despite the increasing domestic demand for vaccines, his government decided to donate vaccines to the Philippines as more Chinese vaccines procured by the Philippine government will soon be delivered.
Ambassador Huang said China was among the first countries to contain the virus and restore economic growth and has embarked on a new journey toward dully building. A modern socialist country.
“As the saying goes, good neighbors are well-wishers for each other. As a good friend, neighbor and partner of the Philippines, we sincerely hope that the Philippines could control the pandemic to embrace economic recovery and normal life at the earliest possible time,” Ambassador Huang said.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea led the executive officials including Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., military and police officials, Senate Committee on Health Chair Christopher Go, among others. (Melo M. Acuña)
Photos show President Rodrigo Duterte inspecting part of the Sinovac vaccines donated by the Chinese government late Sunday afternoon at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. Other photos show the shipment aboard the Xi-an Y-20 aircraft of the Chinese Armed Forces. (PCOO Photos)