Press Releases

House approves Virology Institute, Salceda hopeful of passage in Senate this time 

December 1st, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) thanked his colleagues for approving on 2nd reading the charter of the Virology and Vaccines Institute of the Philippines, a SONA priority of the Marcos administration.

In a statement, Salceda said that he is hopeful that “since we approved it in the House early, there is enough time in the Senate to get it done this time around.”

The institute will be a research center for the study of viruses, how the government can respond to them, and how they can be used for different purposes. 

Salceda adds that the institute aims to be the country’s serum institute. 

“India continues to be one of the world’s largest manufacturers of COVID vaccines even if it did not originate them, because they have a serum institute. Vietnam solved ASF first because their serum institute invented a vaccine early on.”

Salceda adds that the vaccine institute is not merely a health institute. 

“The applications for virology are immense and broad. Food security, forest management, and the development of a strong pharmaceutical sector all benefit from a strong grasp of viruses.”

Salceda adds that “a campus is now ready for the VVIP in Clark, where they will be a key feature.”

The VVIP will create a state-of-the-art virology laboratory in New Clark City, which can create vaccines and serums, and conduct research and projects on plant and animal viruses, on top of human viral diseases.

“These measures will make our health system more resilient. The capacity of a country to contain epidemics depends on its institutional capacity above everything else. If we have strong and resilient disease control and management institutions, we can weather global pandemic events more strongly.”

“We can’t predict the future, but institutional capacity anticipates a broader range of extreme events. It’s like bodybuilding for future pandemics.”

Salceda adds that multilateral financing can easily be obtained once the Senate approves the measure. 

“We don’t have it in the 2023 budget yet, but multilaterals will be happy to finance it so we can hit the road.”

“I am confident the Senate will get it done this time around since we started early in the administration,” Salceda said.

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