PH's own CDC preparation for future public health threats

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

March 28, 2023, 5:46 pm

<p>Department of Health officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Department of Health officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire (File photo)

MANILA – The creation of the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) is a preparation for future pandemics and threats to public health and not "medical martial law", Department of Health officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

“Nowhere can you find within this CDC draft bill any provision that will state that we are going to have a medical martial law,” Vergeire said in a media forum on Tuesday. “In fact, this CDC [bill] will be an attached agency of the Department of Health."

Over social media, some individuals expressed concern about the CDC "controlling" the health of the Filipino public once it is created.

The Covid-19 pandemic, Vergeire said, bared the weaknesses of the nation’s healthcare systems which are expected to respond in times of healthcare crisis.

Dito po natin pinupunan, through this CDC bill, itong mga kakulangan ng ating sistema (We’ll fix these inadequacies in our system through this CDC bill),” she said.

The bill would be vital in the generation of science-based evidence for diseases and addressing the lack in epidemiology services and surveillance system.

It would harmonize laboratories, health experts and scientists for speedy trials to determine needed technologies in addressing certain illnesses, among others.

The CDC bill is one of the priority measures of the Marcos administration.

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading the CDC bill in December last year. The Senate version has yet to be approved. (PNA)