Duterte says China’s Sinovac donations will greatly help PHL economy
(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte thanked China for its vaccine donations of 600,000 Sinovac doses to the country, after personally witnessing the vaccines’ arrival on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 28.
During the turn-over ceremonies at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Duterte said that he intends to make a “short visit to China” probably at the end of the year to personally thank China’s President Xi Jinping.
“Mr. Ambassador, I’d like to just say that towards the — maybe 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. Thank you,” he said addressing China’s ambassador to the Philippines, Hon. Huang Xilian.
The 75-year old Philippine leader noted that among the countries which received vaccine donations from China, it was only the Philippines where the vaccines had been transport by a Chinese military plane.
-Duterte: PHL was only country where Chinese gov’t plane brought vaccines-
“I would like to just add that China has donated several vaccines to several countries. But it is only the donation made to the Philippines that was carried by a Chinese government plane. Iyong iba kinukuha doon sa China. Dito, hinatid sa atin. Maraming salamat po,” Duterte said.
“That is how good China is to us. Thank you.”
In a press briefing after the turn over ceremonies, President Duterte said that he believed that repaying the “debt of gratitude should be made through a personal visit” to the Chinese leader.
But he noted that China did not ask for anything in return for the vaccine donations.
Asked to comment on President Xi’s statement that China had already donated its vaccines to 50 countries, President Duterte said, “China has a good spirit. The people are kind. And the government has great respect and love for mankind.”
He also noted how China has donated vaccines to those countries who need help, including the poor countries who cannot afford to buy many vaccines.
-Vaccine rollout to start Monday-
President Duterte also said that the vaccine donations of China will greatly help the Philippines. If more people are vaccinated, the economy will recover faster, he said.
“The vaccines that China has donated will greatly help the recovery of the Philippine economy. And it starts now, tomorrow when we start the rollout.
“Please convey my gratitude to the Chinese government and people. It will greatly help,” he said answering a question from a reporter of China’s state-run CCTV.
He also said that he is considering placing the country under Modified General Community Quarantine if vaccines have been made available to more people. Asked when, he said that maybe by the time that the country has received two million doses of the vaccines against COVID-19 at least.
The Sinovac doses were transported to Marikina for cold storage as of press time. On Monday, May 1, the Philippine vaccine rollout will start in selected areas.
(Eagle News Service)