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House OKs on 2nd reading bill creating center for disease control

The Manila Times logo The Manila Times 06/12/2022 The Manila Times
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THE House of Representatives has approved, on second reading, the bill that seeks to create the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

If the bill is passed into law, the CDC will be created as an agency that is directly under the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health (DoH) and regional CDCs will also be created.

"The CDC shall be the technical authority on forecasting, analysis, strategy, and standards development for the prevention and control of all diseases of public health importance and health security events, whether domestic or international in origin", the bill states.

House Bill 6522 hurdled second reading through voice vote during plenary session on Tuesday.

Batanes Rep. Ciriaco Gato Jr., chairman of the House Committee on Health, said at the plenary session on Tuesday that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) would not be abolished and that all RITM employees would be absorbed.

The bill tasks the CDC to establish these component centers: Center for Health Statistics (CHS), Center for Epidemiology and Surveillance (CES), Center for Health Evidence (CHE), and Center for Health Laboratories (CHL).

If the bill is passed into law, the Office for Health Laboratories of the Health Facility Development Bureau of the DoH "and other identified national reference laboratories" would be absorbed by the CHL.

The Epidemiology Bureau would be "transferred to the CHS and CES in phases".

The bill states that the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau (DPCB) "shall be transformed into the Public Health Strategy and Management Bureau, and shall be responsible for developing operational strategy and guidelines that are aligned with CDC's standards, setting up intersectoral collaboration platforms, and ensuring strategic management of national health programs. The DPCB's previous standards development function shall be transferred to the CDC's CHE [...]"

Under the bill, the CDC shall have an Office for Health Economics.

In July 2021, during the 18th Congress, the House approved on third and final reading House Bill 9560 which sought to create the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

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