COVID-19 Crisis: Roughly 540,000 vaccine doses donated by South Korea arriving tomorrow

Tomorrow, November 30, 2021, almost 540,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine donated by the government of South Korea will arrive here in the Philippines according to a recent report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). This early, we Filipinos should express our thanks to our friends in South Korea for not just for the mentioned incoming vaccines but also for other forms of help they provided for our nation’s fight against COVID-19.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…

The South Korean government is augmenting its pandemic assistance to the Philippines with the upcoming donation of 539,430 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine this month.

The Korean Embassy in Manila said the donations are expected to arrive on November 30.

The Embassy of the Republic of Korea is happy to support the Philippine government as it seeks to inoculate 15 million Filipinos during the National Covid-19 Vaccination Days from November 29 to December 1, 2021,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The donation is part of the joint efforts made by Korea and the Philippines to protect public health and support the local response to Covid-19 in the Philippines by vaccinating Filipino people.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) last year, the embassy has worked closely with partners from the Philippines, both to help protect the front-liners and reduce the crisis’ impact on the livelihood of affected Filipino families.

The upcoming donation brings to USD210.7 million or approximately PHP10.67 billion Korea’s Covid-19 assistance to the Philippines.

About USD200 million of the amount is in the form of concessional loans to help the Philippines procure enough vaccines in 2021 and support government efforts in scaling up its Covid-19 response.

Korea’s grant element in its concessional loan is at least 88.4 percent, based on the 2018 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

It implies that the Philippines need(s) to repay only 12.6 percent and 88.4 percent will not be repaid by the Philippines. Thus, Korea’s concessional loan provides very, very good terms to the Philippines,” the embassy said.

Apart from the loans, Korea has donated 530,000 swab test kits, seven walk-through booths, two extraction equipment, six isolation beds, 970,000 masks, 167,000 hygiene kits, and 1,200 units of personal protective equipment.

It also distributed rice pouches to help about 365,000 Filipinos who are among the country’s most vulnerable cope during the pandemic.

The Korean Embassy said at least 34 refrigerated trucks for transporting Covid-19 vaccines and four trucks for transporting vaccine-related goods are likewise scheduled for delivery in January 2022.

This year marks 30 years of the Philippines’ and Korea’s development partnership, with the latter’s contribution to the country reaching USD2.1 billion in total.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Are you thankful to South Korea for the donations and assistance they provided to our country? Do you value the ties between the Philippines and South Korea?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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