Principal authors of the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act from the House of Representatives yesterday lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of the measure.
Akbayan Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin said the measure will ensure that people living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) should no longer be afraid to come out.
“State recognition of their rights will be ensured and adequate and proper care will be afforded. While changes in perception and mindset will not happen overnight, it is a giant step in the right direction,” Villarin stated.
He said the law will address the rising incidence of HIV in the Philippines and it will serve as a beacon of hope for people living with the virus.
Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao said the law is a “victory” for HIV/AIDS advocates because it will replace the 20-year old Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act which, she claimed, is not responsive to the current context.
She thanked Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito and Rep. Helen Tan for their diligence in ensuring the law’s enactment as a road map on HIV and AIDS with clear strategies, targets, operational framework and funding.