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Senate bill seeks creation of Philippines' Center for Disease Control

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Senate bill seeks creation of Philippines' Center for Disease Control
Medical workers screen patients for possible COVID-19 before admission at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City on April 18, 2020.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Grace Poe filed a bill seeking to create a public health institution that will focus on disease prevention and control to improve the country’s response to public health crises.

Poe’s Senate Bill 1450 or the Pandemic Preparedness and Response Act aims to establish the country’s version of the United States’ Center for Disease Control, which will strategize and lead in communicable disease control and prevention and strengthen the country’s preparedness and response to public health emergencies.

Under the proposed measure, the center is also envisioned to provide consultation and assistance to other countries and international agencies to collaborate in improving the effectiveness of disease prevention and control mechanisms.

“We need to strengthen our preparedness and become far more equipped in the face of continuing health risks. We all have a stake in this,” Poe said.

The filing of the bill comes as Philippine authorities scramble to stem the spread of the new coronavirus that has already infected 7,777 people in the country. Of the number, 511 have died, while 932 have recovered.

“We need to restrategize, restructure and reinvent our systems if we are to stay afloat and cope with the scourge and disruption brought about by COVID-19, including the threat of new diseases,” Poe said.

Last January, Rep. Joey Salceda (Albay) also filed a bill seeking to create CDC. The proposed legislation remains pending at the House committee on Health.

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