20 million Filipinos estimated for free COVID-19 vaccine

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III confirmed, during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte aired July 31, that the government already has a financing plan for COVID-19 vaccination whenever a vaccine becomes available.

“Ang estimate ho ng Department of Health we will need to vaccinate for free a minimum of 20 million people ‘di ba? So I don’t know if it’s one vaccine or two shots, two shots. So we need — so 40 million vaccines — doses, 40 million doses,” Secretary Dominguez said.

“Ang 40 million doses times roughly 10 dollars per dose ‘di ba is 400 million dollars or roughly 20 billion pesos,” he added.

“Ang plano ho namin is we will use ‘yung Philippine International Trading Corporation na under sa DTI na bumili nitong bakuna, the ones chosen by the Department of Health. Tapos itu-turn over ho ito sa Department of Health para magamit nila sa ano, sa mga poorest of the poor muna, ‘yung first and lowest 20 million in our country,” he added. “So once that happens, the Department of Health now will put in their budget to pay this 400 million dollars or 20 — roughly 20 billion pesos. And we can pay that over maybe two or three years.”

“So babayaran lang nila through the financing company which is LandBank and DBP. So kayang-kaya ho ng DBP at saka LandBank i-finance itong purchase ng COVID virus of about, roughly ha, mga 20 billion pesos,” Dominguez said. “So we have a plan and we can execute it as soon as the Department of Health chooses which vaccine or vaccines they want. Baka you will choose several.”

President Duterte said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be the implementing arm.

“Ngayon sino ang magdala nito? Military. Military lang. Bahala na. I’m asking the Armed Forces, I’m asking General Lorenzana. Kayo man ring ang… There’s the setup,kaya may Task Force tayo. But the implementing arm, military,” President Duterte said.

“Punta lang kayo sa… I suggest that the military assign so many — so many of the soldiers and policemen sa — punta lang kayo ng ospital. May mga military doon, punta lang kayo ng police station. Mga pulis pakinggan ninyong mabuti ha: Ayaw ko nang — ayaw ko nang magkaatraso kayo dito. ‘Pag kayo nagkaatraso, nagkamali, kulong talaga kayo,” he added.