Malacañang on Tuesday bared President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to create a “vaccine institute” in the Philippines so the country would be able to manufacture its own vaccines.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte wanted the establishment of the new institute to leave a legacy.

“[The president said] the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) should have a substantial amount of funding available so we could establish a vaccine institute to enable us to manufacture our own vaccines,” Roque said.

“He wants to leave that as a legacy na siya ang nagpatayo ng vaccine institute nang sa ganoon hindi na tayo umaasa sa mga inaangkat na mga bakuna.”

Duterte’s presidency ends on June 30, 2022.

On March 17, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government had been talking to Serum Institute of India (SII), the biggest vaccine manufacturer worldwide, about local vaccine production.

Because it has so far deployed donated vaccines, the Philippines’ vaccination efforts were described as “lagging behind” by the World Bank.

According to Galvez, 668,018 healthcare workers have been inoculated as of March 29. John Ezekiel J. Hirro