MANILA — The Bureau of Customs, through its Port of NAIA, cleared and released one (1) million doses of Sinovac vaccines, which arrived via Flight No. PR361 two days ago.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr. (NTF Vaccine Czar), and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, personally received the vaccines at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
The vaccines were cleared by the BOC early as March 26, 2021 using its One Stop Shop Advance Clearance Procedure. This is the fifth batch of Covid-19 vaccines that arrived at the Port of NAIA, and the first batch procured by the Philippine Government, the BOC already processed, cleared and released over 2.5 million doses of vaccines.
The vaccines were likewise escorted by BOC until its safe delivery and discharge at Metropac Cold Storage Facility in Marikina City pending nationwide distribution.
According to Secretary Galvez: “We are expecting the delivery of around 1.5 to 4 million of the remaining procured doses from SINOVAC by April and May 2021 together with the additional 979,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the WHO-led COVAX facility. While the remaining 24 million Sinovac CoronaVac doses procured by the national government are scheduled to arrive in the following months up to December.”
With the expected influx of Covid-19 vaccines, Bureau of Customs Commissioner, Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, vows the continuing preparedness and commitment of the BOC to expeditiously process, clear and release arriving COVID-19 vaccines in full support of the national vaccination program of the government.
While Port of NAIA District Collector, Carmelita M. Talusan, assured the public that the Port will remain steadfast and dedicated in ensuring the timely and immediate release of PPEs and medical supplies amid the threat of Covid-19.
(Kiara Lauren Ibanez/BENJAMIN CUARESMA/AI/MTVN)