The House of Representatives has unanimously approved on third and final reading a measure that would mandate the establishment of a vaccine and virology institute that would lead the country’s defense against public health emergencies like the Covid-19 pandemic.
House Bill (HB) No.6452 received 216 affirmative votes via nominal voting during plenary session Monday, Dec. 5.
Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur 2nd district Rep. Kristine Singson-Meehan, who presided over the plenary session, announced that there were neither negative votes nor abstentions on the measure.
Principally authored by House Speaker Martin Romualdez. HB No.6452 mandates the creation of the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines (VIP) that would primarily focus on the key science and technology applications in the development of vaccines for viruses and other pathogens.
“What we learned from the last pandemic is that if a health crisis is in a scale that crosses international borders, we have to act fast and rely on our own resources. We need to respond to it effectively. A virology and vaccine institute can help us stop a deadly virus in its tracks,” Romualdez said.
“I also want to express appreciation to members of the House of Representatives for fast tracking the deliberations on an urgent measure that is considered a priority legislation by the administration of President Ferdinand [“Bongbong”] Marcos Jr.,” added the Leyte 1st district congressman.
The bill is part of the Common Legislative Agenda (CLA) of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).
Tingog Party-list Reps. Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jude Acidre served as co-authors of the bill.