Creating the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Sponsorship speech by Senator Pia S. Cayetano
February 2, 2022
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I rise today to sponsor Senate Bill No. 2505, under Committee Report No. 586, entitled ‘An Act Creating the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Defining its Powers and Functions, and for Other Purposes,’ which is the output of the Sub-Committee on the Center for Disease Control that I chaired.
This measure is also known as the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Act.
Mr. President, it’s been two years since the country recorded its first COVID-19 case. During those two years, we have realized the importance of strengthening our healthcare system, to protect Filipino families from existing and emerging health emergencies that pose a threat to their lives.
If there’s one lesson we learned from this pandemic, it’s the importance of being more prepared for other future crises, including the possibility of another pandemic. According to the Center for Global Development, there is a 47-57 percent chance of another global pandemic as deadly as COVID in the next 25 years.
This bill particularly seeks to establish the CDC, an agency under the Department of Health that will act as the technical authority on forecasting, preventing, controlling, and monitoring communicable and non-communicable diseases in the country.
Through this measure, we aim to adopt a framework that fosters a whole-of-system, whole-of-government, and whole-of-society approach that would streamline science-based decision-making, especially during public health emergencies.
The CDC shall have different established centers that shall lead and coordinate the agency’s major functions. These are as follows:
•The Center for Health Statistics
•The Center for Surveillance and Epidemiology
•The Center for Health Evidence, and
•The Center for Reference Laboratories.
These centers shall be created through the harmonization of functions and reorganization of the existing offices and units within the DOH.
Mr. President, globally, nations are scrambling for solutions to end the pandemic and defeat the virus. But COVID is not the only health threat out there.
As the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation, and Futures Thinking, it’s my duty to ensure that we are on track with our targets under the SDGs, including SDG 3 on Good Health and Well-being. One of the targets under SDG 3 is to strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction, and management of national and global health risks.
Now more than ever, we need to invest in our healthcare system to prepare us better for other possible health emergencies, and to help us build a more sustainable future beyond COVID-19.
And this, we ask for our colleagues’ support, Mr. President, for this urgent and most important measure. Thank you, Mr. President. #