Business group official says gov’t should not rely on China vaccine alone

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 05 2020 07:15 PM

A vial is shown with a potential coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccine at Novavax labs in Gaithersburg, Maryland on March 20, 2020, one of the labs developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, COVID-19. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds, AFP

MANILA - An official of the Management Association of the Philippines said on Wednesday that the government should not “hinge” the country’s economic recovery on China’s possible discovery of a vaccine against COVID-19. 

MAP president Francis Lim said he doubts that Philippines would get preferential treatment from China. 

During his fifth State of the Nation Address, Duterte said he asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to prioritize the Philippines once China develops a vaccine.

But Lim said that China, which has a population of more than 1.3 billion, will likely prioritize its citizens before giving the vaccine to other countries. 

“Uunahin nila yung citizens nila,” Lim said in an interview with Teleradyo.

The MAP official added that the Philippines should look at other countries’ efforts to develop a vaccine.

“We should not put our eggs in one basket, so to speak.” 

Lim also said that while he understands the need to put Metro Manila back under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) because of the surge in COVID-19 cases, he hopes that the country will not be forced to go back to the even stricter ECQ. 

He said that under the MECQ that will be in effect until Aug. 18, the economy is estimated to lose around P12 billion per day. But in the ECQ imposed from mid-March to May, the economy was losing between P19 billion to P20 billion per day.