In preparation for the 19th Congress, Sen. Bong Go said he will refile a bill seeking to establish the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).,“As the Covid-19 virus continues to threaten our health and safety, we should use this time to consider the experiences and lessons we learned, reevaluate our capabilities, improve our efforts and consider new legislative solutions that will strengthen our response to future public health emergencies,” said Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Health.,“Having seen how science has helped us combat the present pandemic, I remain hopeful that our colleagues in government will be more convinced of the necessity of this institute. I will definitely push again for its approval this time,” Go stressed.,The proposed measure seeks to boost the country’s ability to develop vaccines against highly pathogenic emerging viruses.,Go said: “The last two years spent battling the pandemic have exposed one of the biggest weaknesses in our healthcare system — our inability to produce vaccines of our own.”,Go envisions VIP as the principal laboratory of the country in providing virology laboratory investigations, research, and technical coordination of the entire network of virology laboratories nationwide.,The bill will provide guidelines for the establishment and operation of testing, reference and biosafety Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 research laboratories throughout the country.,“My bill aims to establish a reliable national virology laboratory that shall play a critical role in surveillance, diagnosis and monitoring of viral diseases humans, plants and animals as well as in the understanding of the genetic changes in their viral genome as a prerequisite for a strong public health response to emerging, reemerging and existing viral diseases, and improve the social, economic and cultural conditions of Filipinos,” explained Go.,“The overall goal of the VIP is to help develop vaccines against highly pathogenic emerging viruses. These efforts are intended to avoid similar situations where poorer nations are left with fewer medical resources, particularly vaccines, to address pandemics.”,The senator said he will likewise refile a bill which seeks to establish the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).,Go sees the CDC as the lead agency for the developing control and prevention of communicable diseases.,Go reiterated the need to always be one step ahead, noting, “Covid-19 may not be the last health challenge we will have in our generation.”,“Laging handa tayo dapat para hindi mabigla. Hindi natin masabi kung ito na ba ang huling pandemya na darating sa buhay natin. Mas mabuti na handa tayo. Mas mabuting makagawa tayo ng sarili nating bakuna para hindi tayo umaasa sa ibang bansa,” he added.,He said all his efforts are directed towards sustaining the gains that former President Rodrigo Duterte has achieved during his term, while supporting the programs and initiatives of President Bongbong Marcos.,“I am hopeful that through unity, compassion, and our commitment to serve, we can ensure that no Filipino is left behind toward recovery!” Go said.
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