House panel tackles ‘imperative’ bill creating PH center for disease control

Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2020 07:44 PM

MANILA - The House Committee on Health on Wednesday discussed bills seeking the creation of a Center for Disease Control and Prevention or referred to as CDC amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her opening speech, House Committee on Health chairwoman Angelina Tan said, “the establishment of a Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the Philippines has become more imperative given the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, which continue to cause serious socio-economic repercussion to the Filipino nation and the world over.”

“This dreaded disease has already caused untold sufferings to a great majority of the Filipino people, as government resources are very limited and businesses are in limbo,” added Tan, who represents Quezon province.

Through the creation of the CDC, she said it would “develop and deploy reliable data and analytics for more targeted, quicker outbreak responses. It must not just be historical, or even real-time. It must be predictive.”

The CDC shall serve as reference laboratory to the entire country, which must maintain state-of-the-art laboratory capacity, and will uphold a highly trained public health workforce.

It shall also be the frontline in responding to outbreaks at their source.

A technical working group will be formed to iron out 2 versions of the bill as well as streamline the functions with another bill creating a National Health Emergency Council.

The committee has also approved a draft substitute bill granting free annual medical check-up for Filipinos.