Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government would not compromise its claim on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) after Senator Risa Hontiveros sought assurances that there would be no quid pro quo for getting Chinese COVID-19 vaccines.
“In this pandemic, the global interest of the global commons is really to save humanity so all countries rallied to support each other. That’s the context we are looking at, that every country wanted to halt our global pandemic,” Galvez told senators during the resumption of the Senate hearing on the government’s COVID-19 vaccine acquisition program.
Galvez said the selection and procurement of the COVID-19 vaccines will be determined through a science-based process and the recommendation of the vaccine expert panel (VEP) as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
He added that the government adheres to the concept of equitable access, and the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
“And at the same time, we are looking at the global interest of really putting an end to this pandemic. This is a world menace, the differences that we have, maybe we have to set this aside so that we can rally, that’s my point, to rally behind saving humanity,” Galvez added.
Galvez earlier said the government will go through stringent regulatory procedures to ensure transparency and accountability in the selection, procurement, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
Hontiveros said the country’s strategic goals and foreign policy objectives should not be compromised by the purchase of Chinese vaccines.
“While we will buy Chinese vaccines or receive donations and gifts from China, we should not set aside our rights over the West Philippine Sea,” she said.
Until now, she said, even though the international community has collectively rejected Beijing’s claims on the WPS, China remains resolute in asserting its illegal ownership of the country’s territories.
She also observed that the public seemed to have a low confidence in vaccines coming from China, even though the Palace is pushing them.
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