The House Committee on Health on Monday, March 1, approved the substitute bill seeking the creation of the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control, which will serve as the primary agency mandated to develop and apply initiatives against communicable diseases.
The bill, which primarily seeks to strengthen the country’s preparedness and response to public health crisis, aims to give the CPDC technical authority in dealing with matters pertaining to disease control and prevention.
Rep. Angelina Tan, head of the House health panel, stressed there is a need to establish a CPDC especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tan said the bill aims to modernize the country’s capabilities for public health emergency preparedness and strengthen the current bureaucracy that is mandated to address communicable diseases in the Philippines through institutional reforms.
“To better prepare against public health emergencies, we need to embark on two essential initiatives: health modernization and institutional reforms,” Tan said.
“We cannot merely keep on rearranging the boxes within our health organization without capacitating our health personnel and resources. That will not work,” the House lawmaker said.
Once enacted into law, CDPC will be considered an attached agency under the Department of Health (DOH). It will initially be tasked to prioritize disease surveillance, prevention and control of infectious diseases. However, it may also cover non-communicable diseases later on after its creation. A counterpart of the bill has been filed in the Senate by Senators Grace Poe and Richard Gordon, is still pending before the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.