President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday lauded outgoing UK ambassador Daniel Pruce for his personal role in improving the Philippines’ access to vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Duterte credited Pruce for his contribution that led to the signing of a tripartite agreement between the national government, local government units (LGUs), and private sector for the procurement of UK’s AstraZeneca vaccines.
To date, the UK has donated a total of 415,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.
Duterte credited Pruce for the revitalization of UK’s economic and political presence in the Philippines through high-level exchanges and dialogues.
He also renewed his call for the finalization of a memorandum of understanding between (MOU) the Philippines and United Kingdom on the recruitment of Filipino healthcare professionals.
Duterte explained that the memo is expected to ensure fair, ethical, and sustainable recruitment and employment of Filipino healthcare professionals in the UK.
He reiterated the Philippines’ support for the UK’s Presidency of UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) this year, recognizing the UK’s commitment as it steers the global climate agenda towards urgent climate action.
Duterte also conferred on Ambassador Pruce the Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Datu (Grand Cross), Gold Distinction, for his accomplishments.
Meanwhile, Pruce thanked Duterte for all the support given by the Philippine government in the efforts to further strengthen bilateral ties across a broad range of areas, including political and defense cooperation, trade and investments, people-to-people exchanges, and fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
He thanked Duterte for the Philippines’ support of the UK’s dialogue partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Pruce stressed the importance placed by the UK on its relations with the Philippines and further underscored that the Philippines-UK bilateral cooperation will continue to grow from strength to strength.
The two leaders acknowledged that this year marks a milestone in Philippines-UK relations as both countries celebrate 75 years of diplomatic ties.