Disease prevention agency proposed

SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano is pushing for the creation of a Center for Disease Prevention and Control (PCDPC).

This agency, according to Cayetano, will address health risks and public health emergencies in the future.

In a statement, Cayetano said as a high-level public institution, the PCDPC would be imbued with the capacity, competencies, and authority to confront these health risks decisively and help protect Filipinos from future health emergencies and crises.

With the pandemic brought about by the coronavirus disease, Cayetano underscored the need to step up efforts and become more pro-active and decisive in implementing communicable disease control and prevention initiatives.

If enacted into law, Cayetano's HB No. 6096 would make the country better prepared for “sudden onset health emergencies” or those emergencies whose risk exponential increases over time. The proposed center will be an attached agency of the DOH.

The Speaker also said the establishment of the PCDPC is in line with Congress’ efforts to enhance people’s access to quality healthcare services and intensify health management framework during health emergencies.

Cayetano’s call came after President Rodrigo Duterte, in his fifth State of the Nation Address on Monday, urged Congress to create the National Disease Prevention and Management Authority to better respond to future outbreaks.

The DOH is also pushing for the immediate passage of the measure, saying it recognizes the need to develop a well-prepared system to forecast, prevent, monitor, and control emerging and re-emerging communicable diseases and threats.