The Congress-approved allocation of P72.5 billion for Covid-19 vaccines under the Philippines’ 2021 national budget was enough for the vaccination of 60 million Filipinos, Malacañang said on Thursday.

“Tingin ko po sapat po iyan. Kasi nga doon sa scheme na ipapatupad ng (Department of Finance), hindi pa nga po galing sa national appropriations iyong 72 billion na initially kinakailangan natin para sa 60 million katao na mababakunahan,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

“Kung maalala po ninyo napakaliit lang nang initial amount na kukunin natin sa budget kasi hindi nga natin alam kung kailan lalabas iyong bakuna. Pero ngayong malinaw na lalabas siya pagkatapos po maipasa ang budget, nandiyan na rin po iyan, so tama rin po iyan,” he added.

The Senate and the House of Representatives ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 on Wednesday.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier said the vaccination of each Filipino would cost $25 (~P1,200).

The government would will P40 billion from “low-cost, long-term loans” from multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

About P20 billion will be sourced from the Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines and other government-controlled corporations.

The government can also negotiate with bilateral sources for vaccine purchases such as the United States and the United Kingdom, at about P13.2 billion, according to Dominguez.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said vaccinating 60 million people would be enough to achieve “herd immunity,” a concept used in vaccination in which a population could become immune to disease when a certain threshold of population vaccination is reached.

More than 445,000 Filipinos have contracted Covid-19 as of Dec. 10. John Ezekiel J. Hirro