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Duterte: Vaccine supply is the problem, not gov't response to pandemic

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night lamented the country's low vaccine supply amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In his second public address this week, Duterte once again played down criticisms against the government over its alleged failure to respond to the health crisis.

"Itong ating problema sa Pilipinas, kulang ang bakuna... Ang problema natin ay bakuna, hindi that we are not doing anything or that we are not doing it properly. Nandiyan na nga, humabol tayo," he said.

(The Philippines' problem is the short vaccine supply. It's not that the government is not doing anything or that we are not doing it properly. It's already there, we should keep up.)

"Who would ever think that there will be a pandemic? Sino ba mag-aakalang dadating 'yan sa mundo?" he added.

Duterte said other countries are also experiencing the same health crisis.

"I'm not comparing, but America, Brazil, they are suffering the same problem... 'Yong ibang lugar nga nasa sahig na lang sila," he said.

He then lauded Filipinos for innovating facilities such as modular hospitals.

"Hindi nila alam kung gaano kahusay ang Pilipino to innovate," Duterte said.

The Department of Health said 284,553 individuals in the Philippines have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of May 1 or two months since the country launched its inoculation program.

Meanwhile, 1,650,318 individuals have gotten their first dose of either the AstraZeneca or Sinovac vaccine.

The Philippines targets to vaccinate 70 million this year. The country has so far received over four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from China's Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Russia's Sputnik V.

The country has so far recorded 1,073,555 cases of COVID-19 including 993,042 recoveries and 17,800 deaths. -- BAP, GMA News