SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, expressed his support for the initiative of the Department of Health and its partner organizations in launching the “Basic Kalinga Kit” for COVID-19 patients.
According to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, the agency has finished arranging about 35,000 COVID-19 care kits which will contain 20 pieces of masks, a bottle of sanitizer, soap and medicines. This is in partnership with the World Health Organization and Procter & Gamble Company.
“Salamat po sa Department of Health at sa private sector dahil napakalaking bagay po talaga itong naging inisyatibo ng DOH lalo na po para sa mga kababayan nating tinamaan ng sakit na COVID-19,” expressed Go.
“Isa lang po ito sa mga hakbang upang mapalakas pa ang ating COVID-19 response at hindi bumagsak ang ating healthcare system. Sa paraan na ito ay marami pa tayong kababayan na matutulungan lalo na po ‘yung mga mahihirap,” he continued.
“Sa pakikipagtulungan ng pribadong sektor at ng gobyerno, malayo ang ating mararating tungo sa pagkakaroon ng mas ligtas na komunidad lalo na ngayong may pandemya,” he added.
The senator continued to underscore the significance of boosting the country’s health care system especially amid the spike of reported COVID-19 cases due to new variants. He then reaffirmed that he will consistently extend his support towards such efforts to ensure that more Filipinos are protected and provided with necessary support during public health emergencies.
“Now, more than ever, we need to focus our resources on health. As Chair of the Committee on Health, I will ensure that we have sufficient funds to improve our COVID-19 response and assist our recovery efforts,” Go said earlier.
Meanwhile, the senator also renewed his appeal for the passage of his twin bills that seek to boost the country’s capacity to respond to the threat of infectious diseases. One of these measures is Senate Bill No. 2158 which establishes the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If passed, the CDC will be the lead agency for developing communicable disease control and prevention initiatives. It will also focus on controlling the spread of infectious diseases in the Philippines.
“In other countries, Centers for Disease Control have been instrumental in this pandemic. As experts in the field of infectious diseases, they are at the forefront of the health battle against COVID-19. It is high time for us to have our own CDC. President (Rodrigo) Duterte acknowledges this and has previously urged Congress to pass this important measure,” explained Go.
Some of its major functions will include investigating potential cases of public health emergency; enforcing regulations to prevent the spread of communicable diseases; procuring and distributing vaccines, antibiotics and other medical supplies; and working with other countries and international organizations to improve disease prevention and control systems and practices.
Go also filed SBN 2155 which seeks to create the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP). The facility shall be the principal laboratory for virology research and laboratory investigations as well as the lead technical coordinator of the nationwide network of virology laboratories.
Under the proposed measure, the VIP will boost the development and access to new vaccines against diseases such as COVID-19 to make certain that the country has sufficient supplies of emergency vaccine doses.
The senator likewise urged eligible Filipinos to get vaccinated and continue adhering to minimum public health protocols to help the government overcome the pandemic, saying, “Patuloy lang po ang ating pagbabakuna. Kung ano po ang bakunang nasa harapan niyo, ipaturok niyo po agad.
“Ang bakuna po ang tanging solusyon sa ngayon upang bumalik na tayo sa normal nating pamumuhay. At kung hindi naman po kinakailangan ay huwag na po munang lumabas ng bahay para tumigil sa pagkalat itong COVID-19,” he continued.