US CDC opens country office in Philippines

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2022 04:30 PM | Updated as of May 24 2022 05:49 PM

 Right: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Philippines Director Dr. Romel Lacson (left) receives the MOU from Dr. Anjo Fabellon of the DOH-Bureau of International Health Cooperation. US Embassy in the Philippines
Right: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Philippines Director Dr. Romel Lacson (left) receives the MOU from Dr. Anjo Fabellon of the DOH-Bureau of International Health Cooperation. US Embassy in the Philippines

MANILA (UPDATE) - The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has opened a country office in Manila, the US embassy said Monday.

The launch of the US CDC's country office on May 23 is a "commitment to strengthen and expand its existing cooperation" with the Department of Health to advance programs such as "increased health security in Asia," the embassy said in a statement.

"With the opening of the US CDC Philippines country office, we are further reinforcing the long-standing HHS partnership between our two countries and our work together to build a healthier world,” said Loyce Pace, Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is a poignant reminder of why strong international partnerships are so critical for our global health security."

Dr. Romel Lacson will serve as the CDC’s first country director for the Philippines, the US embassy said.

 

“In this new era, partnership is more essential than ever. We must be willing to take on challenges together and create opportunities together. This is why the launch of this office and our work together is so important,” Lacson said.

The embassy added that the DOH and its US counterpart also commemorated the signing of a memorandum of understanding on Health and Medical Sciences focused on increasing its collaboration on the following:

  •  public health emergency preparedness and response
  •  the prevention and control of vaccine-preventable and communicable diseases
  •  the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases

"What is clear is that with their presence here in the country there will be better coordination and assistance part in terms of capacity building of our institution be it for technical guidance, epidemiology, etc," said Dr. Beverly Ho, director IV of the DOH Health Promotion Bureau.

The DOH signed the MOU in April, while the US HHS signed it in March, according to the embassy.

The US, a long-time ally of the Philippines, has donated more than P1.9 billion to aid the Southeast Asian country's COVID-19 response, according to its embassy in Manila.

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