INITIAL construction work started on Wednesday on a P7.5-billion vaccine manufacturing facility, which would be the Philippines’ first, the Board of Investments (BoI) said.
“When we were negotiating the Philippine-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), this was one of the projects which my counterpart Han-koo Yeo … and myself were closely tracking and trying to enable through specific health cooperation in the FTA,” BoI managing head and Trade Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo in a Viber message said.
The facility, which will rise in Taysan, Batangas, will be operated by Glovax Lifescience Corp. which signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Development Co. (NDC) and the BoI. Further plans for the project are being developed.
“Glovax will use the NDC investment to initiate the detailed engineering design of the vaccine plant, land development, and construction of improvements and offices at the vaccine plant site,” according to a project briefer.
Glovax Lifescience is a partnership between South Korea’s Eubiologistics Co. Ltd. and the Philippines’ Glovax Biotech Corp.
The vaccine production and research and development facility will have a maximum annual capacity of 50 million doses and is expected to serve as a pilot plant for the production of new and existing vaccines.
The vaccine plant will be built in three phases and will include a bulk filing plant and a development facility for clinical trials.
Glovax completed its feasibility study for the manufacturing and production of vaccines in February, while the project was approved by the NDC Board in a meeting on April 27.
Earlier this month, the Philippines and South Korea signed an FTA. — Justine Irish D. Tabile