`No need for new law on infectious disease management’

May 18, 2020 News

TEN business groups said there is no need to pass a new law governing management of diseases of public health concern.

The business groups said Congress should instead reallocate resources and grant additional funding for the Department of Health and local government units to improve the implementation of existing law, Republic Act (RA) No. 11332 or the law on the mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases and health events of public health concern.

The groups in a position paper on House Bill No. 6623 or the New Normal for the Workplace and Public Spaces Act of 2020 said the Philippines’ national detection and response strategies are well enunciated in RA 11332.

The business groups also said response strategies in the form of infection prevention and control of notifiable diseases are best left on the barangay, city, or province level.

“(We) support the role of local government units in institutionalizing the essential health and social policies in their respective territorial jurisdiction,” the business groups said.

They said RA 11332 is also supplemented and aided by Executive Order No. 112, Series of 2020, which imposes the temporal guidelines on command and coordination as well as infection prevention and control.

The groups said the government digital modernization program, they noted can be used to respond to the new coronavirus disease pandemic rather than in a public health and social measure bill.

Thus, they support the call to fast track the implementation of the Philippine Identification System Act and the National Broadband Program, as well as the establishment of E-Government Systems.

“We support the creation of an E-Government system through allocation of funds in the e- Government Fund as well as continued support to the Department of Information and Communications Technology,” the groups said.

The position paper was penned by the heads of by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc., Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc., European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry Inc., Foundation for Economic Freedom, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines  Inc., Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Makati Business Club and Management Association of the Philippines.

By Irma Isip

Source : Malaya Business Insight