Galvez hails Fil-Chinese business group for helping increase jab supply

Published June 18, 2021, 12:42 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. was elated with the recent arrival of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines that were procured by the private sector, as it will further bulk up the country’s jab supply.

A total of 1.5 million doses of CoronaVac-Sinovac vaccines from China arrived at NAIA in Pasay City on June 17, 2021. Of these, 500,000 doses were bought by the Federation of Filipino Chambers Commerce and Industry, Inc. (Photo courtesy of National Task Force Against COVID-19)

On Thursday, a total of 1.5 million doses of CoronaVac vaccines made by Sinovac Biotech arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City. This pushed the vaccine supply to 14.2 million.

Of the delivery, some 500,000 doses were purchased by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) from the Chinese vaccine manufacturer through a tripartite agreement with the national government.

“Ito na ang effort ng (This is the effort of the) private sector to help the government to produce the national volume. We thank the FFCCCII because they initiated this, and the Filipino-Chinese community is very persistent to help us,” Galvez said.

FFCCCII President Henry Lim Bon Liong said 50 percent of the federation’s supply will be distributed to provinces such as Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Dagupan, where a surge of cases is observed. The remaining supply will be deployed to cities in Metro Manila, he added.

“The key here is to help the Filipino-Chinese community and all our workers in the province. We employ so many workers, so many people are affected by this virus and we have to reach out to them. Ito ay pagtulong namin sa government (This is our way of helping the government),” said FFCCCII Vice President Cecilio Pedro.

A total of 250,000 doses of Moderna will also arrive on June 25. Of these, some 50,000 doses will go to the private sector.

The 1.7 million doses of AstraZeneca jabs ordered by the private sector will also arrive in July.

The private sector-procured vaccines arrived just as the national government included the inoculation of economic frontliners (A4 priority group) in the immunization program–a move that is seen to hasten the country’s economic rebound.