Negotiations on a civil nuclear cooperation agreement have begun that could lead to future sales of US nuclear reactors to the Philippines, the White House said Monday.
The “123 agreement” is one of the initiatives US Vice President Kamala Harris launched during her visit in the Philippines.
“Once in force, this agreement will provide the legal basis for US exports of nuclear equipment and material to the Philippines,” the White House said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the vice president’s husband, Douglas Emhoff, who is traveling with Harris, said the United States is giving an additional $5 million (about P286 million) in additional COVID-19 funding to speed up the rollout of vaccines in the Philippines.
Emhoff made the statement during the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Healthy and Safe Back to School Event in Caloocan Monday. The event was attended by Emhoff, USAID Deputy Chief of Mission Heather Variava, USAID Mission Director Ryan Washburn, Caloocan City Mayor Dale Malapitan, Metro Manila Center for Health Development Regional Director Dr. Gloria Balboa, Department of Education officials, and Department of Health officials led by DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, held at Gregoria De Jesus Elementary School, Caloocan City.
The US assistance, funded through the American Rescue Plan, will support vaccine distribution for children and adults in line with the Philippine government’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts to intensify and strengthen the country’s wall of immunity.
The US government has provided nearly $50 million in COVID response assistance to the Philippines and donated, in partnership with COVAX, more than 33 million COVID-19 doses since the beginning of the pandemic.
The US government will continue to donate medical kits, equipment, and medicines and provide technical assistance to the Philippines to ensure that everyone, particularly the children, are protected against COVID-19, tuberculosis, and other diseases, Emhoff announced.
The event highlighted the close partnership between the US government and Philippine government, particularly on COVID-19 response, disease prevention and awareness campaign, TB awareness, and safe return of learners to face-to-face classes.