House targets to pass 3 priority bills on health by yearend 


THE HOUSE of Representatives will start deliberating on three of the President’s priority measures relating to health by Nov. 9, with a target to have it passed at the lower chamber before the end of the year, a congressman said on Wednesday.

These measures cover the establishment of a Virology Institute, Center for Disease Control, and Medical Reserve Corps.

“We will be having our first bill deliberation this November, particularly on November 9th,” Batanes Rep. Ciriaco B. Gato, Jr., chair of the Committee on Health, said via phone call.

He cited that the schedule will only be adjusted if there is a supervening event.

“We intend to, at least, (finish the bill deliberations) in the House of Representatives this year,” Mr. Gato said.

“The committee level will be by November, and hopefully by third reading in the House of Representatives by December.”

He noted that these bills were already approved in the House during the previous Congress, but the Senate counterpart measures only reached committee level.

“We are still in the midst of the pandemic, and there is still a need to create a Philippine Virology institute to capacitate our country against public health emergencies,” he said.

Recently, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority said that it has allocated five hectares at the New Clark City in Tarlac province for the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines.

House Bill 2 seeks to create a medical reserve corps, while HB 9 seeks to establish a Philippine Center for Disease Control, and HB 10 seeks to build a Virology Institute. — Kyanna Angela Bulan