President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday accepted the offer of Russia to supply the Philippines with its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines once mass production starts.
In a public address in Davao City, Duterte said he is “very happy” by the news that Russia would provide vaccines free of charge.
“I am very happy because Russia is our friend. They’re going to give free vaccines. They didn’t say anything about paying for it. I think this is President Vladimir Putin’s way of helping us, by giving it for free,” he said.
He added that the Philippine government will accept it and talk about how much of a supply the country needs.
Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev on Friday said the country has developed an “effective and safe” vaccine created by the Gameleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier conveyed its appreciation for Russia’s willingness to assist the Philippines, as well as its offer to supply the vaccine developed by Gamaleya.
The offer has been referred to relevant agencies for proper assessment and evaluation, DFA said.