Solon Seeks Strong Policy on AIDS

Article excerpt

Manila, Philippines - A lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to strengthen the governments policy on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) prevention and treatment, noting the fast and furious prevalence of cases in the country. In House Bill 1593, Paranaque Rep. Gustavo S. Tambunting pushed for the establishment of a national HIV and AIDS program, recognizing that HIV and AIDS are public health concerns that have wide-ranging social, political and economic repercussions. He said there is a need to take a second look at Republic Act 8504 or Philippine AIDS Prevention Control Act of 1998 to ensure that the capability to fight the killer disease is attuned to the present situation. Times have been changing fast. RA 8504 is becoming irrelevant with the present situation. Our countrys capability in adapting to the current HIV and AIDS epidemic has intrusively turned into an ancient approach. To adapt to fast-paced living, technology-driven society and empowered citizenry through social media, our legislation should keep up by amending important legislations to keep them attune to modern times, Tambunting said in re-filing the measure. During the 15th Congress, House Bill 6751 was filed and deliberated, but due to time constraints, it was not enacted into law. Tambunting said the salient features of the bill include the restructuring of the legal framework of HIV and AIDS by harmonizing evidence- informed strategies and approaches in prevention, treatment, care and support, making the HIV response flexible and relevant to the characteristics of the HIV epidemic facing the country. The measure also clarifies the roles and responsibilities of state institutions involved in HIV and AIDS response to ensure effectiveness of the structure of the response, the Paranaque lawmaker said. …