MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday made a fresh push for the creation of a virology institute and a disease control center in the Philippines to respond to future pandemics and health crises.
The proposed Virology Center of the Philippines will "consolidate in a better way all the disparate research", allowing the country to "be more coordinated as opposed to what we had to work with during the pandemic," Marcos said.
The Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control, meanwhile, will prepare the country for the "unfortunate warnings that we are always getting that this is not going to be the last pandemic," he said.
"We have been in consultation with the House of Representatives and the Senate to bring these...to create these agencies so that we can bring them to bear in what we are up to now continuing to have to fight," he said.
"We will continue to work so that our people are safer, so that our citizens have better access to healthcare, and so that the quality of our healthcare will improve," added the President.
Bills seeking to create the 2 institutions are included in the 19 priority measures that Marcos listed in his State of the Nation Address in July.
Marcos made his fresh push for the 2 bodies during the 15th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week celebration in Pampanga, where he recognized the contribution of Filipino health researchers in strengthening the government’s COVID-19 response.
He said his administration was committed to creating "an enabling environment for the Filipino research community that fosters collaboration and cooperation that will yield solutions."
— Job Manahan and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News