Creation of virology institute, center for disease control among House priorities

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Creation of virology institute, center for disease control among House priorities
The Pasig City government starts vaccinating Pfizer vaccine for the persons with disability and with comorbidities at Pasig Sports Center on July 17, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — Bills creating the Philippine Virology Institute and the Philippine Center for Disease Control are among the House of Representatives’ priority measures for its third regular session, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said Friday.

The two measures, which were responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, have both been approved on second reading and are up for approval on third and final reading.

The Philippine Virology Institute is envisioned as the premier research and development institution in the field of virology, while the Philippine Center for Disease Control is imagined to be the country’s principal health protection agency that would prevent, protect and manage the spread of diseases and other health threats here and abroad.

Apart from these proposed laws, the House also aims to pass amendments to the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016, the Bureau of Immigration Modernization Act and the National Housing Development Act.

President Rodrigo Duterte has pitched to Congress during his 2016 State of the Nation Address to amend the Continuing Professional Development Act, which requires professionals to take additional formal and non-formal learning before they can renew their licenses.

The proposed Bureau of Immigration Modernization Act seeks to hike the salaries of immigration personnel, while the proposed National Housing Development Act aims to provide continuous funding for socialized housing.

While all five of these bills were identified by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council as priority measures, it remains to be seen whether the House can pass these before its members’ terms end in June 2022.

Lawmakers typically get busy with campaigning for their respective electoral bids during this leg, resulting in absences in Congress which hampers the passage of legislation.

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