President Duterte to APEC: Ensure unimpeded flow of COVID-19 vaccines, technologies

President Rodrigo Duterte called for the unimpeded flow of COVID-19 vaccines and technologies in his speech during an APEC event hosted by Malaysia on Friday, Nov. 20./PCOO/

(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, Nov. 20, called on Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation member-states to ensure the unimpeded flow of COVID-19 vaccines and technologies once  available.

In his speech at the virtual APEC Leaders Meeting, the  President said several modalities could be employed for this: through bilateral and multilateral cooperation and through tripartite arrangements among the government, private sector and  multilateral financial institutions.

“We have to defeat the virus everywhere, or no one is safe. To do this, we need to strengthen partnerships to make vaccines a global public good,” the President said.

The President also  vowed he would continue his support for the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, which aims for greater regional economic integration and  enhanced cooperation.

He added  trade should be kept “free, open, and fair,” noting that this was  “key to achieving sustained and inclusive economic recovery.”

“We commit to address the widening income inequalities between the countries.  And we aim to empower ourselves to face the disruptive impact of a new globalization, driven by digitalization and innovation,” he said.

The government has said it was eyeing the COVID-19 vaccination of 50 percent to 60 percent of the population.

It said it was prioritizing the poor, government frontliners and uniformed personnel.

So far, five vaccine makers are eyeing clinical trials in the Philippines.

These are Janssen, Sputnik V, Clover Biopharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac.