Officials of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Moderna had told President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. of their move to set up a vaccine making facility in the country during a meeting with Philippine officials at the Blair House in Washington.
Moderna Chief Commercial Officer Arpa Garay and Senior Vice President and General Manager Patrick Bergstedt said they are set to establish a “Shared Service Facility for Pharmacovigilance” to provide more employment opportunities to health professionals in the country.
Garay said the Shared Service Facility for Pharmacovigilance in the Philippines will serve the entire Asia Pacific Region. She underscored the successful public-private partnership between the Philippine government and Moderna that they wanted to explore further.
“We are really excited to have selected the Philippines for the third one primarily because you know the capabilities exist. We have the talent that exists, and we know that the partnership will be one that can be beneficial for both Moderna and the Philippines,” Garay said.
Bergstedt said there are other countries that offered shared services with Moderna but they have chosen the Philippines as the “perfect location” for their third shared service facility in the world.
He pointed out thag the facility will have other shared services that will serve the entire Asia-Pacific region.
Moderna was among the pharmaceutical companies that pioneered the production of COVID-19 vaccines, which were distributed to the Philippines at the height of the pandemic.
Marcos met with the Moderna officials on Tuesday afternoon at the Blair House in Washington DC along with former president and now Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Speaker Martin Romualdez, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual and Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Ernesto Lagdameo Jr., Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez and DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo were also present during the meeting.
Once operational, it will be Moderna’s only shared service facility in Asia and the third in the world following Poland and Georgia in the US. It is expected to employ around 50 staff composed of health professionals with their shortlisted office location either in Makati or at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
The project will also be the first investment by Moderna in the Philippines and its first in Asia.
President Marcos expressed gratitude to Moderna saying it will give the country advantage in healthcare. “The opportunity to build shared services in areas of interest, connecting with the scientific, academic opportunity with Moderna, the ministry of health is something that we’re very, very interested in. The most important part is that we sat down and drew the program, and say this is how we approach the problem … Those are the kind of skills that we need. With your experience in other countries, there are many lessons that we could learn that can be applied in the Philippines,” Marcos said.
Catherine R. Cueto