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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Secretary Roque downplays claim China-vaccine costs higher than other products

Presidential spokesperson refutes claims SinoVac is unreasonably-priced

MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it’s not true SinoVac costs a lot.

Speaking at his regular midday press briefing in Malacañang, Secretary Roque said while he is not at liberty to disclose the amount involved in the purchase of China-made vaccines, he said China, being a Communist country, costs its products differently because being a Communist, they are not dictated by market forces.

“The price we got from China was based on the friendly relations with the Philippines,” he said. He lashed out at the Opposition who, he said, was behind the issue.

This was his reaction when asked of postings in the social media that Indonesia bought its China-made vaccines to the tune of 200,000 Rupiah or P 683.20.

He explained SinoVac ranks third among six brands which may be available in the Philippines this year.

“It is not true SinoVac costs much as alleged by certain sectors,” he said.

In a related development, Secretary Roque called foreigners considering travel to Manila to postpone their trip if they are scheduled to arrive on the 15th of the month.

He said President Rodrigo Duterte, when he announced the temporary ban on arrivals from 27 countries with traces of COVID-19 variant, may extend the rule subject to the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Health.

Secretary Roque said the IATF-EID is scheduled to meet Thursday afternoon. No announcements have been made by the Office of the President as of this writing. (Melo M. Acuña)

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