QUEZON CITY, Nov. 24 (PIA) --President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants the members of the military and the police to get the first shot of anti-COVID-19 vaccine along with the vulnerable and poor population citing their importance during times of emergencies.
"I need a healthy military and police kasi 'pag magkasakit lahat 'yan, wala na akong maasahan, wala na tayong mautusan kung gawin 'to, gawin doon," President Duterte said in a televised public address Monday.
"As I have said, try to understand the police and the military. They are really the errand boy of the Republic. Kita naman ninyo 'yung baha sa Luzon, several, nakita ninyo 'yung military, Coast Guard, lahat na pumupunta na doon, pulis. And then they have to take care of the law and order situation."
The President appealed to the public to obey the law and avoid adding burden to the job of policemen.
"So huwag na ninyong pahirapan masyado 'yung pulis. Kung wala naman kayong gawin, eh 'di matulog na lang kayo kaysa mag-inuman diyan tapos magkagulo and not only once but many times na madisgrasya 'yung peace officer just because he intervenes itong mga away-away ninyo na inuman," he said.
President Duterte said policemen are true government workers and are first to respond to calamities such as typhoons and landslides.
The Chief Executive gave his nod for Advance Market Commitment, which would allow the government to start negotiating with big pharmaceutical companies developing COVID-19 vaccines. The government eyes to secure commitments from China's Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer.
If the government can secure advance commitments from the three vaccine developers, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government can have 60 million doses next year.
Initially, he said the government can secure advance commitment with Astra Zeneca for 20 million doses this month.
Several vaccine developers, which are set to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines, include Sinovac, Hansen, Johnson & Johnson, Gamaleya, AstraZeneca, and CanSino.
Vaccine procurements will be through loans from multilateral financing institutions such as the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Domestic banks are also possible fund sources for the government. PND