THE Department of Health (DOH) has proposed that the country’s emergency response to the coronavirus continue even after the state of national calamity ends this year.
In a media briefing Friday, DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have submitted to the House of Representatives the Public Health Emergency for Emerging and Reemerging Disease proposal which President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. assigned as a priority bill.
“In this bill you’d find the different components, kung ano ‘yung dapat ginagawa natin even if wala tayong state of calamity, magagawa pa rin natin (what we must do even if we don’t have a state of calamity, we can still do them),” she said.
Among these are the purchase of vaccines against Covid-19, provision of benefits for health care workers, and discounts on medicines used for the treatment of Covid-19.
“If this law will be passed, we don’t have to worry about anything because this replaces and this will become the basis of the different actions that we’ll do in terms of public health emergency,” Vergeire said.
She said the bill has been discussed during Marcos’ first ever Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council meeting on October 10.
Vergeire said they explained to the legislators that Filipinos are all linked or tied to the state of national calamity declaration, hence a replacement is significant.
“During the meeting, the President specifically said this is a priority bill and it has to be passed,” she said.
As for the Covid-19 situation, Vergeire said there will still be cases as the coronavirus continues to mutate and may even be more transmissible or vaccine-evasive, but the country can manage.
“Nakaka-manage tayo through our health care facilities tapos alam natin mas maraming bakunado ngayon. Most especially, may antivirals kasi tayo ngayon. Mas kumokonti ‘yung nagiging severe (We manage through our health care facilities and more are vaccinated now. Most especially, we have antivirals and severe [cases] are decreasing),” she said.
On November 10, a total of 1,267 new infections were reported to raise the active cases tally to 16,526.
During the past two weeks, the National Capital Region had the most number of new infections with 2,925, followed by Calabarzon with 1,716, and Western Visayas with 1,332. Philippine News Agency