Bioterrorism preparedness bills filed
Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero recently filed a bill seeking to establish a biosecurity program for the protection and safety of Filipinos against biological and nuclear threats. National defense committee vice chairman Ruffy Biazon, for his part, filed another bill seeking to establish the National Health Security Council (NHSC) that would handle threats of biological terrorist attacks.
STAR/ File

Bioterrorism preparedness bills filed

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - December 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Measures seeking to prepare the nation for bioterrorism threats have been filed in the House of Representatives.

Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero recently filed a bill seeking to establish a biosecurity program for the protection and safety of Filipinos against biological and nuclear threats. National defense committee vice chairman Ruffy Biazon, for his part, filed another bill seeking to establish the National Health Security Council (NHSC) that would handle threats of biological terrorist attacks.

In his House Bill 4458, Romero proposed the establishment of an integrated chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) resiliency program to prevent, control, respond and manage the risk and impact of the global nuclear and biological warfare on the country.

“The threat of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear materials and weapons is a global challenge. The Philippines, an archipelagic country with the vast coastline and porous borders, is vulnerable to different threats or risks to its population,” Romero said in the explanatory note of his bill.

“If these materials are used malevolently, or if the laboratories or facilities containing these CBRN materials have not followed safety and security protocols, the probabilities of exposing the Filipinos and the environment to grave threats and risks are increased,” the 1-Pacman party-list representative stressed.

The measure will establish a CBRN Authority under the Department of the Interior and Local Government that will take the lead in the formulation of policies, developing programs and strategies, and promulgate the guidelines to be implemented to further protect Filipinos against CBRN materials.

Romero believes that the passage of the law will add another level of security and safety for the Filipinos.

Biazon’s bill, on the other hand, sought the country’s preparedness for health emergencies that could possibly emanate from bioterror attacks.

It specifically cited the possibility of “chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons” as causes and threats to public health and safety.          

MIKEE ROMERO
Philstar
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