President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday he wants the United States to assure the delivery of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) if the US wants the Visiting Forces Agreement to (VFA) continue.
In a meeting with Cabinet members and the infectious disease task force and experts in Malacañang, Duterte said he wants at least 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the US for the VFA to continue.
“Iyong Visiting Forces Agreement, matatapos na. Ngayon kapag hindi ako pumayag aalis talaga sila. Kung hindi sila maka deliver ng maski minimum of mga 20 million (doses) of vaccines, ah they better get out (The VFA is about to end. Now, I don’t want it, they simply leave. If the US cannot deliver 20 million doses of the vaccines, they better get out),” Duterte said.
“No vaccine, no stay here,” he added.
The President ordered the VFA’s termination in February after the US revoked the visa of Senator Ronald Dela Rosa, the former police chief who led Duterte’s brutal war against drugs.
As Duterte tied the continuation of the VFA to the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines, American drugmaker Pfizer submitted its application to secure an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of its vaccine in the Philippines, Malacañang said also Saturday.
“It will take FDA 21 days to evaluate and approve the EUA, but vaccination would start as soon as stocks become available,”
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
It is the Food and Drug Administration that will issue the EUA to Pfizer. SOVEREIGNPH