Philippines: Bloomberry’s CEO Enrique Razon pushing for Moderna vaccine

Ambassador to the US, Jose Manuel Romualdez, said the Moderna vaccine is the second COVID-19 vaccine to receive emergency use authorisation in the US

Philippine billionaire, Enrique Razon, Chairman and CEO of Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), has been in touch with United States-based Moderna and is initiating efforts to bring in its mRNA-1273 vaccine to the Philippines.

“The Philippines has an allocation of 20 million doses,” said a source in Razon’s circle.

Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said the Moderna vaccine is the second COVID-19 vaccine to receive emergency use authorisation in the US.

The source also said each dose could cost around $26 (about P1,250) and the vaccines are expected to be delivered to the Philippines from May to August.

Romualdez, in a letter to local government officials last Saturday, said:

The Philippine Embassy in Washington, Razon and the Inter-Agency Task Force (for the Management of) Emerging Infectious Diseases are working together to consolidate the demand in order to avail of the best possible rate for the entire country.

Romualdez stated it does not need to be stored in ultra-low temperature freezers and remains stable at -20 degrees Celsius for up to six months; refrigerated conditions, up to 30 days; and at room temperature for up to 12 hours.

Bloomberry’s Solaire Resort and Casino, one of the Integrated Resorts located in the country’s Entertainment City, has been pro-active in combating the spread of the virus and providing assistance to the government since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has donated a total of P600 million (US$12 million) in medical supplies and relief goods.  

In November of last year, Bloomberry's Solaire Resort and Casino were the only casino opertator allowed to accept bets online, but then, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), issued the newly created Philippine Inland Gaming Operator (PIGO) licence along to two of the four integrated resort (IR) casinos in the country - Melco Resorts’ City of Dreams, and Universal Entertainment Group operating Okada Manila, along with an operator in Subic Bay. 

The PIGO licences only permit the casinos to welcome qualified domestic VIP high rollers located within the Philippines which is totally the opposite of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), that targets international gamblers, most especially in mainland China. 

The gaming regulator’s proposal to allow land-based casinos to accept bets online has been seen as a way to mitigate losses and refill the state’s exhausted funds caused by the economic impact of Covid-19.  

Source: Philstar

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