The country’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is within sight, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a pre-recorded address aired on Thursday during the signing of a tripartite agreement for 17 million vaccine doses from AstraZeneca.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel. National recovery is within sight,” he said.

Duterte lauded the private sector and others involved in the “A Dose of Hope” project, which had its ceremonial signing of a tripartite deal on Thursday.

The ceremonial signing was attended by Palace spokesman Harry Roque, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion and AstraZeneca Philippines President Lotis Ramin. It was aired on state-run PTV-4.

“I commend the business community and the LGUs (local government units) for your ramping of support for our nation’s fight against Covid-19. This agreement partnership between the national government and the LGUs and the private sector. You have my full support,” Duterte declared.

“We now have the weapon to defeat this virus – the vaccine. And let us win the war and save lives and livelihood,” he added.

The country has recorded 494,605 Covid-19 cases since the first infection was detected on Jan. 30 last year.

Galvez earlier said that vaccines from Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer might arrive as early as February. John Ezekiel J. Hirro