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DoH optimistic on health bills approval

Vergeire said the agency is expecting approval of Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control Bill, Medical Reserve Corps Act and the National Security Bill

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The Department of Health (DoH) on Monday expressed confidence that more health bills will be approved before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends next year.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the Health department is expecting approval of Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control Bill, Medical Reserve Corps Act and the National Security Bill.

“Just like what I have said last week, we have the Philippine Center for Disease Control Bill, which aims to create a highly technical institution where researches, surveillance and laboratories will be integrated into one,” Vergeire said.

The Health official stressed that the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC) will be created once the Disease Control bill is enacted into law and will pave the way for employment of more health experts to ensure that the country will have proactive responses during times of public health emergencies.

The CDPC will be an attached agency to the DoH and would absorbed the Health department’s attached agencies like Epidemiology Bureau, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the STD AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory, the International Health Surveillance Division of the Bureau of Quarantine and the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau.

Vergeire noted that the agency is anticipating the proposed creation of a medical reserve corps that can be tapped by the government during public health emergencies.

“This Act will provide development, administration, organization, training, maintenance and utilization of medical reserve corps. They will be trained continuously and when a public health emergency takes place, we can utilize this whole medical reserve corps,” said the Health Undersecretary.

To recall, it is one of the priority bills that President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress to pass during his fifth State-of-the-Nation Address last year.

Meantime, Vergeire stressed that they are also expecting the National Security Bill will be passed before 2022 that is seen to “strengthen the Philippine health security and emergency preparedness, readiness and response.”

“The important (provision) under this bill is the attached funds for the preparation of investments we need as well as resources for the current threats especially for the health and the preparedness of the country,” Vergeire said.

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