The Philippine government is seeking a P300-million (around P14.7 billion) loan from the World Bank to purchase vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
A national daily reported that the World Bank already allowed the government to initially utilize $25 million to $30 million of its $100-million loan to the Duterte administration’s emergency Covid-19 project in April 2020, citing documents from the lender.
The government has allocated P72.5 billion for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines to be administered to up to 70 million Filipino to achieve herd immunity. However, only P2.5 billion in funding was assured under the 2021 General Appropriations Bill, which means the government must also tap foreign borrowings to for the remaining P70 billion.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd is confident the government will be able to get funding support for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.
“Covid-19 vaccine development is also making headway. We have already secured sufficient financing to procure enough doses to inoculate a majority of our people,” Dominguez said in a tweet.
The government is currently in talks with Pfizer and Moderna of the United States, AstraZeneca of the United Kingdom, and Sinopharm and SinoVac of China, and a vaccine manufacturer from China for the supply for Covid-19 vaccines. SOVEREIGNPH