President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he recognizes American assistance to the Philippines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tomorrow afternoon, Duterte said he would personally accept the American donation of COVID-19 vaccines.
“I am going to the airport because the United States donated 3 million…Moderna,” he said Monday night in his “Talk to the Nation.”
He said that with the help of the United States, Duterte decided not to pursue the plan for the Philippines to end the Visiting Forces Agreement or VFA.
It may be recalled that the President dropped the decision when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited the country last week.
“Give and take lang tayo, so pasalamat tayo sa kanila at may naibigay na naman ako sa kanila na concession. I conceded to the continuance of to the…Visiting Forces Agreement. In gratitude I said, mahirapan. Nagpapasalamat tayo. I like to thank President of the United States, si Biden, the government, and the people of America for not forgetting us. Do not forget us because we share the same outlook sa geopolitics especially dito sa Southeast Asia,” explained Duterte.
According to the records from the US Embassy in Manila, the US government has donated at least 13.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines so far. Of this number, 3.2 million doses were direct donations, while 10 million doses were from the COVAX facility.
The US also donated three million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines which are expected to arrive on Tuesday, August 3, according to Roque.
Under the VFA, Filipino and American soldiers set rules for joint military exercises and humanitarian work.
The President has repeatedly threatened to break the country from the agreement after the US canceled the visa of the former Philippine National Police chief and now Sen. Ronald “Stone” Dela Rosa.