Infectious diseases expert welcomes move to certify center for disease control bill as urgent
Posted at Mar 24 2023 11:09 AM
MANILA – An infectious diseases expert on Friday welcomed President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s move to certify as urgent a bill that would establish a center for disease control and prevention in the Philippines.
Speaking on ANC, Dr. Edsel Salvana said it is important for both houses of Congress to act on this bill right away.
“And I think now, as we start to get out of the pandemic, it’s important to institutionalize the lessons that we learned about the pandemic so when the next pandemic—it’s not an if--when the next pandemic arrives, then we already have the lessons that we learned from the COVID pandemic in place so that it will have a much lesser impact,” he said.
Salvana said he hopes the center for disease control in the Philippines won’t be a replica of the one in the United States.
“The United States Center for Disease Control is a very, very big organization and it includes infectious disease and noncommunicable diseases, I think that a lot of that is already being done by the Department of Health. I think I want it really focused more on infectious diseases, especially those with pandemic potential,” the expert said.
More than this, however, Salvana said he hopes the Philippine center for disease control will have the ear of the policymakers.
“We have to make sure that these policymakers listen to those who are on the CDC because they are the scientists, they are the public health experts,” he said.
“That’s what we had at DOH, when we were doing the pandemic, we had the direct ear of the president and he would call us to Malacanang from time to time to hear our thoughts. It’s not just from Secretary Duque, iniisa-isa niya kaming scientists, what do you think? And that’s a really key takeaway that we have unfettered access to the policymakers,” he added.
--ANC, 24 March 2023
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