President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his Intervention at Session 2: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Informal Leaders’ Retreat via virtual convention from New Zealand on Friday (July 16), where he emphasized the need to end vaccine nationalism among the rich and developing countries.
Duterte regarded the global vaccine distribution as a great imbalance in vaccine access as 80% of the COVID-19 vaccines have gone to rich countries, leaving the rest to the developing world with so little to get by. “The Philippines is concerned with increasing North-South divide between the vaccine haves and the have-nots. The Philippines reiterates its call for equitable access to safe and effective vaccines.”
Duterte also mentioned the need to ensure that micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are able to fully participate in the digital economy as these MSMEs are “drivers of economic growth”.
Moreover, the President said that APEC must also take the initiative to facilitate international travel while safeguarding public health through recognizing digital vaccination certificates that are scientific, verifiable and non-discriminatory.