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Philippines to pay for vaccines vs. COVID-19, says Duterte

The Philippines will pay for the vaccines against COVID-19 that will be made available to Filipinos by Russia and China, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday night.

In his nationally-televised address, Duterte thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jingping for offering to give vaccines to the Philippines once they are produced.

However, Duterte said the Philippines will have to pay for the vaccines.

“I cannot overemphasize my depth of gratitude (to Putin and Xi Jingping) but remember this is not for free,” he said. “For after all, they did not develop the vaccine without great expense and also the human effort involved.”

Duterte also said he will be asking the Russian and Chinese governments for loans for the vaccines due to the “economic hemorrhage” the Philippines is facing.

“Bibilhin natin ‘yan kaya lang kung mahal, if it is quite expensive, then I will ask my friends President Putin and Xi to give us a credit, parang utang, credit line,” he said.

“But we will pay, not in one payment, but by installment. Basta ang sinasabi ko magbayad tayo. Hindi ito libre,” he added.

Last week, Duterte said Russia may be giving the Philippines its vaccines against COVID-19 for free.

Duterte said he was also willing to be the first Filipino to receive the anti-COVID-19 shots which Russia had developed. -NB, GMA News