Press Releases

Salceda thanks PBBM for certificate of urgency for CDC bill

March 22nd, 2023

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) thanked President Marcos for issuing a certificate of urgency for Senate Bill No. 1869, which is the Senate version of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bill, which Salceda first filed in January 2020.

Salceda first filed the bill as House Bill No. 6096 during the 18th Congress, and refiled it as House Bill No. 46 during the 19th Congress.

“I thank President Marcos for boosting this measure, which will protect us from the pandemics that will inevitably happen again in the future. Pandemics are now cyclical – and our preparedness must be permanent,” Salceda said.

Marcos’s certification allows the Senate to discuss the bill in plenary and approve it on third reading on the same day.

“I filed this bill in January 2020, on the afternoon of a meeting with members of the Sin Tax Coalition. We celebrated the passage of the Duterte administration’s Sin Tax measures, but we also knew that something big was looming.”

“My initial version contained several health emergency provisions that were written in anticipation of necessary lockdowns, quarantines, and continued disease surveillance. Of course, legislation is compromise so that bill evolved through the different stages, and is more institutional than a matter of broader health emergency powers.”

“I also tried to separate sudden onset health emergencies and regular or chronic health issues that should be resolved in a more normal fashion. The CDC’s original objective was to be a pure health emergency institution.”

“But the institution is also worth pursuing, beyond broader quarantine and disease surveillance powers. Although I would have wanted greater focus on health emergencies, the CDC as it is now crafted would still be much better than the very ad-hoc nature of the RITM.”

Salceda says that with the certificate of urgency from President Marcos, he expects that the Senate will fast-track the approval of the measure.

“It got stuck last time due to some fundamental disagreements on the structure of the institution. But now that the Presidential imprimatur is clear and undeniable, I am almost certain President Marcos will have the law in his desk right before his first SONA.”

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