Senate bill against PANDEMIC was filed by late Sen. Santiago

The late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago filed a senate bill no. 1573 or the "Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act" seven years ago. Its main purpose is to promote and strengthen proper health consciousness among Filipinos. It will also prepare the nation in case of health emergencies or if a deadly pandemic reaches our country.

This will allow the government especially the Department of Health to conduct top training and all related preparedness activities as well as fund allotment before a health crisis occur.\

Sadly, this bill is still tagged "pending" in the committee.

Here is the explanatory note made by the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago:


The Constitution, Article 11, Section 15, provides that "the State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them." 

A "public health emergency" is defined as an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition, caused by bioterrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or a novel and highly fatal infectious agent or biological toxin, that poses a substantial risk of a significant number of human facilities or incidents or permanent or long-term disability (WHO/DCD, 2001). 

History has seen the occurrence of plagues, calamities, and outbreaks which have claimed huge parts of the population. For instance, the Black Death (also known as the Black Plague or Bubonic Plague) was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, widely thought to have been caused by a bacterium named Yersinia pestis, but recently attributed by some to other diseases. The total number of deaths worldwide was estimated at 75 million people, approximately 25-50 million of which occurred in Europe. 

In June 2013, health experts started emergency international meetings to devise ways of combating a mysterious virus that has been described as the single biggest worldwide public health threat. Officials and doctors gathered in Cairo to examine ways of tackling the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), feared to be a new pandemic deadlier than SARS. SARS refers to Severe acute respiratory syndrome, Ii viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-Co V). Between November 2002 and July 2003, an outbreak of SARS in southern China caused eventual 8,273 cases and 775 deaths reported in multiple countries. 

The MERS virus has displayed an alarmingly high fatality rate. It has caused death in about 60 percent of patients so far, with 75 percent of cases in men and most in people with serious health conditions. There are currently no known treatments. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, previously called MERS a "threat to the entire world".

There is an old adage that states that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This bill is built upon such wisdom by seeking to strengthen national response and preparedness for public health emergencies, such as those which result from natural disasters and severe. weather, recent outbreaks and pandemics, bioterrorism, mass casualties, chemical emergencies, and radiation emergencies.

Preparedness refers to activities and measures taken in advance to ensure an effective response to the impact of hazards, including the issuance of timely and effective early warnings and the temporary evacuation of people and property from threatened locations. It also refers to pre-disaster activities, including an overall strategy, policies, and institutional and management structures, that are geared to helping at-risk communities safeguard their lives and assets by being alert to hazards and taking appropriate action in the face of an imminent threat or the actual onset of a disaster. 

This bill gives the Department of Health the mandate to undertake measures, such as evaluation, planning, organizing, and training, to improve national preparedness for public health emergencies. 



Senate bill against PANDEMIC was filed by late Sen. Santiago Senate bill against PANDEMIC was filed by late Sen. Santiago Reviewed by Teachers Click on April 03, 2020 Rating: 5


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