By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
Bureau Chief, Metro Manila News Bureau
The World Philosophical Forum (WPF) Philippines, Inc. is all set to donate some 1 million vaccines to the Filipino people to help eradicate once and for all the COVID-19 Coronavirus in the country.
Shariff Ibrahim Albani, chairman of the World Philosophical Forum Philippines, Inc. (WPF) told the Philippine Muslim Today that they have officially informed President Rodrigo Duterte of their plan to make a donation by writing the Office of the President through lawyer Harry Roque, the Presidential Spokesperson.
Albani said the WPF and South Asia General Foundation International, Inc. chaired by Dr. Zhou Ye have strong bond with China, and with strong partnership with Kindle Holding Pte. Ltd., the company authorized by China Overseas Capital Management Co. Ltd. for the distribution of the vaccines.
According to Albani, they are now making a negotiation with the Sinovac of China for the supply of 1 million SINOVAC Vaccines to the Filipino people free of Charge.
He said if the donation will be materialized many of the Filipino people will benefit in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
It can be recalled that even Roque, as the Presidential Spokesperson, had already announced that even the vaccines to be supplied by the government will not be given Free.
Roque emphasized however that only the poorest of the poor can avail of the free Vaccines, and while those who can afford to buy they will not be given with free vaccines. “…they have to buy since the government is going to buy the vaccines from abroad and will not be given free by the supplier,” Roque emphasized. “These vaccines are for sale.”
On the contrary, Albani said the Sinovac vaccines they are going to import from China are free of charge.
He said WPF is now negotiating with SINOVAC if they can put up their manufacturing laboratory right in Manila. However he said SINOVAC will have to spend with the transfer of technology with an estimated amount of $600 million. Of course he said this negotiation will be done with the Department of Health and the Bureau of Food and Drug for the putting up of the vaccine laboratory.
Considering that he comes from Mindanao being a Tausug from Sulu, many residents of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) suggested to the WPF to allocate some of these Sinovac Vaccines to the people in the region.
The WPF chairman explained that as non-government organization they just would like to assist the government since the Philippine economy has a low GDP (Gross Domestic Product) right now.
The GDP decreased at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to the “advance estimate” released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Albani said that it is a fact government budget is low and the banking loans are high, as well as the inflation is high too. He said the Philippine economy is in bad shape since it is greatly affected by this pandemic.
“So even if the curve showing the pandemic status has flattened, we could not just easily revive back our economy. We need a solution to that fear caused by this pandemic,” the WPF Chairman said. He said the SINOVAC vaccines will undoubtedly remove the fear of every Filipino to go out and work and bring the economy back.
Albani said “we firmly believe that to revive our economy is first to remove that fear. With that we would like to take the big leap of our country. Thus the donation of 1 million free vaccines to the Filipino people.” (JIJ)