By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senators welcomed on Tuesday President Duterte’s plan to give a P10-million reward to any Filipino who can develop a vaccine for COVID-19.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said the government, however, could have gathered Filipino scientists instead to find a cure to the novel coronavirus disease.
“It’s ok[ay] to have a reward. But I would prefer getting our scientists together to develop a better COVID rapid test kit and a vaccine. And to be part of a global effort in doing the same,” Recto said in a text message.
Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, said the reward “is a clear shoutout to the Filipino excellence and ingenuity in this time of crisis.”
“More than this, it is a call to the Filipinos’ innate good nature and sense of humanity to create a cure that can be a game changer in the history of medicine to bring hope and normalcy to our daily lives,” she said in her statement.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced on Tuesday that President Duterte is offering a reward money of up to P10 million to any Filipino who can discover a vaccine against the COVID-19.
He said Duterte also pledged a “substantial grant” to the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital to develop a vaccine.
Researchers and scientists worldwide have been looking for a cure to COVID-19, which is caused by a new coronavirus strain believed to have originated from bats, and spread thru droplets of water from infected persons.
Amid the absence of a cure, doctors have been using anti-viral drugs to treat COVID-19 patients.