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On the approval of House budget panel of the CDC Bill

May 21st, 2021

House budget panel approves CDC bill; Salceda wants stronger emergency measures in bill

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) says that he anticipates the enactment into law of House Bill No. 6096 or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Act, a priority legislation in the 2020 State of the Nation Address of President Duterte, with today’s approval of the bill by the House Committee on Appropriations.

“Recently, the Senate has begun committee discussions on the bill. With plenary approval looming in the House, I believe this bill will see enactment this year,” Salceda said.

The Department of Health (DOH) also recently reiterated its support for the bill recently, during a press conference. Salceda was the first author of the base version of the bill, which he filed on January 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic spread in the Philippines.

Focus on emergencies, infectious diseases crucial

While explaining the bill, Salceda reminded the House panel “not to make the CDC too bureaucratic” and to ensure that it is capable of responding to what he calls “sudden-onset” health emergencies, or emergencies that have the potential to break out and spread very quickly.

Salceda also asked the Committee to focus the CDC’s mandate on fighting infectious diseases.

“There are health crises where cases have the potential to escalate in numbers and scope very quickly, and where coordinated efforts at containment and treatment are required immediately. That will often include law enforcement, community management, and a whole swathe of other disciplines. Clearly, that’s not just a doctor’s specialty anymore. So, we need a more holistic public health preparedness and response framework,” Salceda added.

Salceda also asked the committee to ensure that the agency does not become “too large against its own good.”

“If the CDC is too large to include non-communicable diseases, we believe that it will be bogged down by the same bureaucratic issues that led us to creating this agency in the first place,” Salceda warned.

Salceda says that he hopes the House will move the measure through the plenary after the President’s State of the Nation Address on July.

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