Duterte thanks UK for vaccine donations

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Duterte thanks UK for vaccine donations
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the inauguration of the Chen Yi Agventures Rice Processing Complex in Alangalang, Leyte on July 5, 2019.
Presidential photo / Rey Baniquet, file

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has cited the contribution of the United Kingdom’s outgoing ambassador in improving the Philippines’ access to COVID-19 vaccines.

During the farewell call of Ambassador Daniel Pruce last Wednesday, Duterte thanked the UK for donating 415,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.

“President Duterte cited Ambassador Pruce’s personal role in improving vaccine access for the Philippines eventually leading to the conclusion of the innovative tripartite agreement between GPH (government of the Philippines), LGUs (local government units), and private sector for the procurement of AstraZeneca vaccines,” a Malacañang statement read.

Duterte also congratulated Pruce for a successful tour of duty and credited him for the “revitalization” of the UK’s economic and political presence in the Philippines through high-level exchanges and dialogues.

He also conferred on the ambassador the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu (Grand Cross), gold distinction. The award is given to diplomats, officials and nationals of foreign states “who have rendered conspicuous service in fostering, developing, and strengthening relations between their country and the Philippines,” according to the Philippine government’s official website.

Duterte and Pruce noted that the Philippines and UK are celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations this year.

At the same meeting, Duterte cited the need to finalize the memorandum of understanding on the recruitment of Filipino healthcare professionals to ensure fair, ethical and sustainable recruitment, and employment of Philippine health workers in the European country.

The President also reaffirmed the Philippines’ support for the UK’s presidency of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties this year and recognized its “bold commitments as it steers the global climate agenda towards urgent climate action.”

Pruce thanked Duterte for the Philippines’ support for efforts designed to further boost bilateral ties across a broad range of areas, including political and defense cooperation, trade and investments, people-to-people exchanges, and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. He also expressed gratitude for the Philippines’ support for the UK’s dialogue partnership with ASEAN.

“Ambassador Pruce stressed the importance placed by the UK on its relations with the Philippines and further underscored that the Philippines-UK bilateral cooperation will continue to grow from strength to strength,” the Malacañang statement read.

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