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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has revealed that Russia has pledged to build a pharmaceutical facility in the country for the production of its vaccines against coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Duterte said outgoing Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev told him about Russia’s intention to invest in the Philippines during the latter’s farewell call in Malacañang Wednesday.

“I just had a talk with the Ambassador of Russia, the outgoing, and we had a serious one-on-one talk and they said that Russia is coming in; mayroon lang sigurong tinatapos and they would want to establish here,” the Chief Executive said during his public address yesterday.

“Gagawa sila ng planta, pharmaceutical, lang naman, and ang vaccine papasok rin sila,” he added.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, for his part, called the plan of Russia to produce vaccines here “very good news for us.”

“Kasi nga ang problema ngayon, number 1, magkaroon man ng bakuna ilan ang mabibili natin given na yung mayayamang bansa nag-invest na para maging una doon sa bakuna na made-develop ng mga kumpanya,” Roque explained Thursday.

“Inaasahan natin na kung dito pa sila magma-manufacture, hinding-hindi tayo mauubusan ng bakuna na dito sa Pilipinas gagawin,” he also said.

Russia and the Philippines have agreed for the conduct of phase three clinical trial for Russia’s Sputnik V, which will be done simultaneously in Manila and Moscow between October 2020 and March 2021.

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