By Jennylou Canon


Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday that the fate of the visiting forces agreement (VFA) may or may not be affected by a donation of COVID-19 vaccines, and advised that the public should await.

"First and foremost, hindi pa natin alam kung meron talagang darating at kung ilang ang darating. So, hintayin muna natin na dumating," Roque said.

The spokesperson also added that the public should wait for President Rodrigo Duterte's decision on the issue, as "he is the only one who can decide on this matter."

Last Friday, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez said that the country will receive donation from US' 80 million COVID-19 vaccine allocation.

However, Romualdez still does not know the quantity of the vaccine that will be donated to the Philippines, but assured that the country will be in the first batch of donations.

The fate of the VFA was revived recently after Duterte ordered the United States (US) to pay a toll to keep the agreement.

This was also addressed by Romualdez, and said that the US officials and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) are in talks to resolve the issue.

The envoy added that US wishes to keep the VFA.

The US and the Philippines has been diplomatic partners for 75 years which began in 1946.

Meanwhile, the VFA was established in 1951, and was anchored on the Mutual Defense Treaty.