Locsin: No one asked for ânurse for vaccinesâ trade
“No one is asking for a trade. Just a way of saying our relationship is beneficial coming and going,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin tweeted.

Locsin: No one asked for ‘nurse for vaccines’ trade

Mayen Jaymalin, Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. clarified yesterday that the Philippines was not bartering Filipino health care workers for COVID-19 vaccines with the United Kingdom or Germany.

“No one is asking for a trade. Just a way of saying our relationship is beneficial coming and going,” Locsin tweeted.

“Our new nurses’ future experience in pandemic UK will be the core of our future response to the next pandemic. We were spared SARS so COVID took us by surprise,” he added.?

Earlier, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) was reported to have proposed to deploy more nurses to the UK and Germany with the hope of securing some 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the Philippines.

Last Wednesday, British Ambassador Daniel Pruce said the UK had no plans to link the Philippines’ procurement of vaccines to the deployment of Filipino nurses and other health care workers to the UK.

Pruce added that Britain’s health ministry was committed to the domestic use of vaccines and that any excess would be directed through the COVAX or COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility of the World Health Organization (WHO).

COVAX is a global initiative aimed at providing equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

Locsin said the Philippines donated an “unprecedented $200K to COVAX and ASEAN RESPONSE to show that we don’t just put our hands (out), we put out our money to help countries like ours.”

‘UK needs more time to decide’

Yesterday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he received a letter from the British embassy in Manila stating that the UK government wanted more time to decide on the DOLE’s proposal. – Edu Punay, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Delon Porcalla

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