DOH pushes bill on public health emergency


The Department of Health (DOH) said it is pushing for a proposed measure that will allow the government to continue different protocols under the State of Calamity, in case such a declaration will be lifted—amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Currently, the country is under a State of Calamity due to Covid-19 pandemic until Dec. 31.

“Meron tayo kasing sinubmit sa ating House of Representatives, itong (We have submitted to the House of Representatives the) Public Health Emergency for Emerging and Re-emerging Disease Bill, said DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing on Friday, Nov. 11.

“Ito po ay nai-sign as (This was signed as) one of the priority bills of this current administration,” she added.

Under this proposed measure, Vergeire explained that the government may still purchase vaccines, implement vaccination, and provide benefits to health workers even without the declaration of a State of Calamity amid a public health emergency.

“In this bill, you'll find the different components kung ano yung dapat na ginagawa natin na even na wala tayong anchored na sinasabing nag declare tayo ng (on what should be done even if we are not anchored on a declaration of) State of Calamity,” said Vergeire.

“If this law will be passed, we don't have to worry about anything,” she said.

“This will become the basis of the different actions that we will do in terms of public health emergency,” she furthered.

The State of Calamity in the country was first declared by former President Rodrigo Duterte in March 2020 following the emergence of the Covid-19 virus.

In September of this year, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. extended the period of State of Calamity in the country until Dec. 31, 2022 following the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).