MANILA – The US government is very much willing to share to the Philippines any coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines and therapeutics once these become available.

This was one of the topics discussed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and his US counterpart, Mark Esper, during their telephone call Friday (June 12).

“Secretary Esper mentioned that developments on vaccines and therapeutics in the US are making very good progress and expressed their willingness to share them with US allies and partners once available,” the DND statement said on Sunday.

Lorenzana also took the opportunity to share the Philippines’ response to the Covid-19 and expressed his appreciation for the medical assistance and donations of medical supplies provided by the US government.

Esper, on the other hand, expressed his appreciation for the DND’s support for the Philippine government’s decision to suspend the termination of the agreement regarding the treatment of US Armed Forces visiting the Philippines, referred to as “the Visiting Forces Agreement”.

Both defense officials also discussed the security situation in the South China Sea, counter-terrorism, and logistics cooperation, particularly on the capability upgrades of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“Both sides committed to sustain dialogues amidst the pandemic and strengthen cooperation between the two defense establishments,” the DND statement added. (PNA)