President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the Philippines would be ready to take out loans to buy the Covid-19 vaccines developed by China and Russia once available.

“Bibilhin natin ‘yan, kaya lang kung mahal, if it is quite expensive, then I will ask my friends [President Vladimir Putin] and [President Xi Jinping] to give us credit line… parang utang,” he said.

“But we will pay. Not in one payment but by installment. Basta ang sinasabi ko magbayad tayo, hindi ito libre,” he added.

He also thanked the Russian and Chinese presidents for offering the vaccines to Filipinos.

“I cannot overemphasize my depth of gratitude [to Putin and Xi] but remember this is not for free… after all, they did not develop the vaccine without great expense and also the human effort involved,” Duterte added.

The 75-year-old last week volunteered to be the first to be injected with the Russian vaccine to alleviate the public’s fears.

Russia’s “Sputnik V” Covid-19 vaccine will start local clinical trials by October, while Phase 3 of tests, which aims to administer the vaccine to a large controlled population to record possible adverse effects, would be conducted alongside Russia from October 2020 to March 2021.

Malacañang said the vaccine was expected to be registered under the Food and Drug Administration by April 2021. John Ezekiel J. Hirro