President Duterte has thanked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its support for the Philippines’ coronavirus (COVID-19) response efforts, particularly in boosting vaccination rates in Mindanao.

President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang photo)

Malacañang made the statement the statement following the phone call between the President and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates Tuesday evening, February 8.

During their phone conversation, the President thanked the Crown Prince for the care and concern the UAE has been showing the almost 600,000 Filipinos residing in their country.

The President likewise thanked His Majesty for UAE’s COVID-19 assistance of seven metric tons of medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and 100,000 doses of Hayat Vax vaccines that boosted the vaccination rate in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“We look forward to further working closely with the UAE as we continue addressing the challenges of the pandemic,” the President stressed.

Duterte also expressed regret that the COVID-19 situation in the country made it impossible for him to proceed with a planned visit to UAE.

Last month, President Duterte claimed that many Muslims in the country, particularly in Mindanao, are resisting getting vaccinated against the COVID-19 possibly either because of their religion or culture.

According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, BARMM leaders will have to step up and do more to convince their constituents to get vaccinated.

Source: Manila Bulletin (