The anticipated passage of bill creating the Philippine Virology and Vaccine Institute (VIP), should be a come-on for foreign pharmaceutical firms to invest in the Philippines “to help the country expand its science and technology base given the potential in manpower training it will also bring in, and participate in the manufacture of medicines especially those against viral and bacterial diseases.”

The entry into the country of the virus-borne COVID-19, caught the government off-guard causing the resultant panicky sourcing of funds to buy vaccines from foreign pharma companies. The situation drove the country to the brink of economic bankruptcy, purchasing vials upon vials of the appropriate vaccines against COVID-19, at exorbitant prices – always at the mercy of the foreign pharmaceutical firms.

According to a leading Philippine pharma firm said “. . . local drug manufacturers are seeking to improve government-to-government (G2G) engagement with countries that have a higher livelihood of forging technology transfer relationships.” The same source cited Japan “. . .there is a push on the part of the Japanese government for its population to use generic medicines. We all know it’s expensive to produce not just medicine, but any other product in Japan and therefore, there is a thought that perhaps you can invite the Japanese to come over, establish their facilities in the PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority), especially for the Japanese market . . .”.

Also, Taiwan and Cuba are potential partners, through G2G arrangement, in the manufacture of medicines because of their advance science and technology programs. Let alone the benefit of Filipino manpower being trained by experienced pharma workers. Indeed, the Philippines have everything to gain by inviting foreign pharma companies to situate there pharma facilities in the country’s PEZA.

I go for inviting foreign pharmaceutical companies to locate their facilities in the country’s PEZA for reasons above-stated. The invitees, through G2G arrangement, should include India known as one of the leading countries in the production of vaccines, medicines against virus and bacteria carried diseases.
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