Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday slammed rich countries over its COVID-19 vaccine donations via global effort COVAX facility, claiming these countries' donations are just out of guilty conscience.
Roque made the statement even if 24,182,070 million doses out of the total 77,410,640 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the Philippines or 31.2% were donated by other countries via COVAX/direct donation.
Of the 24 million doses donated, 2.7 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States government arrived over the weekend.
"Ang COVAX voluntary, feel good ng mga mayayamang bansa dahil mino-monopolize nila ang suplay ng vaccine (COVAX donation is voluntary, for the rich countries to feel good since they are monopolizing the vaccine supply)," Roque said at a vaccination activity in Clark, Pampanga.
"Dahil nga kinakailanagang i-address ang guilty conscience, mamigay tayo ng konti sa mga mahihirap na bansa. (Because they want to address their guilty conscience, they have a pittance to poor countries)," Roque added.
Roque said that in his bid to seat as one of the members of the UN body International Law Commission, he is pushing for COVID-19 vaccine supply equity because no one is safe until everybody is safe.
"Kinakailangan po kilalanin ng lahat ng mga bansa ang obligasyon na para matapos ang mga pandemiya. Kinakailangan lahat magakroon ng bakuna dahil ito ang solusyon sa pandemiya (Countries have to recognize their obligation to end this pandemic and that is to ensure that everybody gets vaccinated)," Roque said.
Those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Philippines are at least 21 million, while those who got at least one dose is at around 24 million.
This means that only 45.9 million doses out of the 77 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
But Roque said this is an accomplishment given that the Philippines is experiencing a tight vaccine supply.
"Kinakailangan po ipagdiwang natin ang ating nagawa dahil hindi po gaya ng mga ibang bansa na pinagkaitan ng bakuna, 28 percent [at the] national [level] is vaccinated, [while vaccine coverage is at] 75 percent in Metro Manila; palakpakan po natin ang ating bayan na Pilipinas (We need to celebrate what we did because compared with others deprived of vaccine supply, we 28% are vaccinated in national level at 75% in Metro Manila; let us clap for our country)," Roque said.
The government initially targeted fully vaccinating 70% of 110 million Filipinos by yearend but this has since been changed to 90% by the May 9, 2022 elections.
This means around 11 million per month should be fully vaccinated from here on to achieve that target. — RSJ, GMA News