President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his gratitude to US President Joe Biden on Tuesday for America’s Covid-19 vaccine donations to the Philippines.

During the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the US on Tuesday, the Philippine president said he appreciated the country’s “generous” vaccine donations for the Asean region.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought complicated challenges to all of us. We appreciate the US’ generous offer of vaccines for the region, including the Philippines,” Duterte said in the Asean-US summit.

“To succeed against the pandemic, we need to further strengthen bilateral, regional and international cooperation to ensure universal access to Covid-19 vaccines and medicines,” he added.

The Philippines has received more than 24 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from the US through the Covax facility.

Duterte last month said he wanted to visit the US to personally thank the US government and American people for their Covid-19 vaccine donations to the country.

He also decided to retract the termination of the Philippines’ Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the US due to the latter’s vaccine donations. John Ezekiel J. Hirro