President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday he would open the economy once there is enough stock of COVID-19 vaccines, as he received the first 600,000 doses, courtesy of China's Sinovac.
Face-to-face classes, however, will have to wait a little longer, he said.
Duterte held back on placing the entire Philippines under MGCQ, the lowest quarantine, citing the lack of vaccines until Sunday. A ceremonial vaccination is scheduled in government hospitals on Monday.
"Our economy is really down, as in down, so the earlier mabilisan itong vaccine, the better," he said.
"Pag nag-umpisa na yang rollout and the other vaccines, and distribution to the provinces, I may, siguro pagdating nga mga... we'll have a million by this month. Magkakaroon tayo ng stock na two million, bitawan ko na. I will open the economy," he said.
Asked about the nationwide shift to MGCQ, Duterte said: "Kung makita ko na madami nang vaccine, tanggalin ko na yun," he said.
Asked if the vaccine rollout would pave the way for face to face classes, he said: "Wag muna. Not now. I cannot make that decision. Children will be in jepopardy. I am not ready to lose the lives of our yourg people, our children."