Press Releases

Salceda lauds inclusion of Virology Institute in 2022 budget

July 8th, 2021

Salceda lauds inclusion of Virology Institute in 2022 budget; Principal author of institute’s charter thanks Duterte for making law a priority

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) thanked President Duterte for ordering the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to include the Virology Institute of the Philippines (VIP) in the President’s budget proposal for 2022. Salceda is the principal author of the VIP’s charter, filed as House Bill No. 6793, in the House of Representatives.

In response to a presser yesterday by Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, who said that the President instructed the DBM to ensure that the country has capabilities to create solutions for COVID-19, Salceda said that the President’s prioritization of the VIP will help ensure the passage of the bill chartering the institute.

“I am elated to hear that President Duterte gave explicit instructions to Secretary Avisado that the Virology Institute be prioritized. This has been a pet bill of mine, and we worked very closely with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to craft a well-formulated charter for the Institute,” Salceda said.

“Utos niya [Duterte] na talagang magset-up ng Virology Institute of the Philippines nang sa ganoon ay madevelop natin ang kakayanan ng ating mga scientist na magtulong-tulong upang magproduce tayo ng sarili nating vaccine,” Avisado said in remarks to the press.

“The measure will help not only create a vaccine for COVID-19, but also for the other virus-related threats we face, such as the African swine fever. With climate change and the destruction of natural habitats, we will really face more zoonotic viruses, or those viruses that climb from animals to human hosts,” Salceda said.

On May 21, the House Committee on Appropriations already approved the substitute bill in which Salceda is listed as the first and principal author.

“It should be clear to all of us: preparation yields the best outcomes. The same goes for pandemics. It’s difficult to do because the rewards are not immediate. But the consequences to the unprepared can be catastrophic,” Salceda said.

Under the measure, the VIP will become the premier research and development institute in the field of virology, encompassing all areas in viruses and viral diseases in humans, plants, and animals.

“It shall act as a venue for scientists, both here and abroad, to work collaboratively to study viruses of agricultural, industrial, clinical, and environmental importance,” Salceda added.

“We need this institute critically. Agriculture needs it, especially since our plant exports are susceptible to viral infections. Our public health system needs it, above all. This is a matter of literally vital importance, and I thank President Duterte for sharing our vision on this matter,” Salceda said.

He explained that the VIP will become the research and development unit while Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) will be the medical laboratory.

“VIP will be dedicated exclusively to the broadest and deepest possible exploration of everything we need to know about viruses that can affect the country, and more importantly, how we can prepare for them, as well as what opportunities lie in the research,” he said.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) endorsed the passage of the bill.

The VIP’s campus in New Clark City is part of the priority programs under the Build, Build, Build program of the Duterte administration.

Other Press Releases
Statement on the pronouncements against the Public Service Act amendments (RA 11659)
Read More
Statement on the February 2024 jobs report
Read More
Statement on the March 2024 inflation figures
Read More
The problem of access to Senior Citizen healthcare is structural, but it should be addressed alongside other issues with Senior Citizen welfare.
Read More