Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund “L-Ray” Villafuerte Jr. has filed a bill mandating all private and public hospitals to establish plasma banks where plasma can be collected and stored.
He filed House Bill No. 8339 seeking to promote plasma donation and collection for COVID-19 patients.
“While the Philippines is still arranging the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines for Filipinos, the virus remains a threat to lives and heath of our people. For the time being, the convalescent plasma therapy, a treatment which uses the antibodies of coronavirus survivors to boost the immune systems of those critically ill may aid in our fight against COVID-19,” he said in his bill’s explanatory note.
The former deputy speaker noted that studies show that convalescent plasma may be used as a treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections and people who have been determined by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease.
“This bill seeks to promote the donation and collection of convalescent plasma which is vital for the recovery of COVID-19 patients,” Villafuerte said.
HB 8339 mandates the government through the DOH to promote the donation and collection of convalescent plasma or plasma from COVID-19 recovered patients.
The DOH is tasked to determine the eligibility criteria before recovered patients can donate and before the plasma is collected.
Villafuerte said the collection, storage and all activities in relation to the procedure should be coordinated at the national level through effective organization and integrated blood supply networks.
Under HB 8339, he proposed that one year after the effectivity of the proposed Act, all hospitals, private and public, shall have a facility where plasma can be collected and stored.
All plasma banks, as accredited by the DOH, are required to ensure that all plasma and other blood products collected have been labeled accordingly, tested and found to be negative of blood transmissible diseases, and observed an established chain of custody, according to acceptable standards.
The amount necessary to initially implement the provisions of the proposed Act shall be charged against the current year’s appropriations of the DOH. Thereafter, such sums, as may be needed, for its continued implementation shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).
The DOH shall issue the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act within 90 days from its effectivity.