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Duterte earmarks $1.5B for 60M Covid vaccines

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The Duterte administration is planning to use 73.2 billion pesos ($1.52 billion) worth of loans to buy Covid-19 vaccines for 60 million Filipinos. AFP

Duterte earmarks $1.5B for 60M Covid vaccines

The Duterte administration is planning to use 73.2 billion pesos ($1.52 billion) worth of loans to buy Covid-19 vaccines for 60 million Filipinos.

That amount will come from several sources – 40 billion pesos from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank, 20 billion pesos from local banks and government corporations, and 13.2 billion pesos from bilateral sources, Secretary of Finance Carlos Dominguez III told the Cabinet during a pre-recorded briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte that aired late November 23 night.

The 13.2 billion pesos is the target amount that the Department of Finance hopes to raise from bilateral sources, while the 20 billion pesos will come from Land Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines and government-controlled corporations, according to Dominguez.

Much of the amount is “pretty much almost fixed”, with only the 13.2 billion pesos “not completely negotiated”, he told Duterte.

According to Dominguez, the estimated cost of a vaccine dose is $25 per person. The loans mentioned, he said, would be enough to finance the vaccination of 60 million people.

Secretary of Health Francisco Duque said immunising 60 million people would be enough to achieve herd immunity, which would require 60 to 70 per cent of the population to be immunised, as defined by the World Health Organisation.

Duterte reiterated his desire to prioritise the vaccination of the military and the police to ensure security and the continuation of their efforts amid the pandemic.

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/Asia News Network

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