Following the declaration of a gastroenteritis outbreak in Baguio City, Senator Win Gatchalian pressed the need to create the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Gatchalian is a co-author of the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Act (Senate Bill No. 1869), which seeks to create the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The proposed center shall be the technical authority on forecasting, analysis, strategy, and standards development for the prevention and control of all diseases of public health importance and health security events.
Aside from developing strategies, standards, and policies for disease prevention and control, the center’s other responsibilities shall include the implementation of disease surveillance and field epidemiology activities, the establishment and strengthening of public health laboratories, and the building of local capacity for surveillance and health research.
The proposed measure also directs provinces, cities, and municipalities to adopt and localize standards that the proposed CDC shall develop. To build local capacity for disease surveillance, local government units (LGUs) are mandated to fund and establish functional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units and create positions for needed Disease Surveillance Officers and field epidemiologists.
As of Friday, January 12, Baguio City recorded 2,764 cases of gastroenteritis or the inflammation of the digestive system. Initial results of water testing showed evidence of fecal contamination in the city.
“Nakita natin noong panahon ng pandemya ng COVID-19 at sa naging outbreak sa Baguio City kung gaano kahalaga ang isang matatag na sistemang pangkalusugan sa pagsugpo ng anumang uri ng sakit. Kaya naman patuloy nating isinusulong ang paglikha ng Center for Disease Prevention and Control upang matiyak na may sapat na kakayahan ang ating bansa na sugpuin ang pagkalat ng mga sakit,” said Gatchalian.
He also filed the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines (VIP) Act of 2022 (Senate Bill No. 825). The proposed VIP shall serve as the premier research and development institute in the field of virology, encompassing all areas in viruses and viral diseases in plants, animals, and humans.