(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 26, called on Congress to pass a law creating the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and the Virology and Vaccine Institute in the Philippines.
The President made the call during his sixth and final State of the Nation Address made against the backdrop of a pandemic brought about by the COVID-19 virus first discovered in Wuhan, China only in 2019.
Earlier, the Department of Health confirmed the local transmission of the highly transmissible Delta variant in the country.
“Maski gaano tayo kahirap. However poor we are, I think that the Filipinos, given the proper support and the equipment that they have to use, I am sure that the Filipino brain can also process or make toxins in the future,” he said, to applause from members of the audience.
The Philippines’ COVID-19 vaccination program relies mostly on vaccine supplies procured from foreign manufacturers, from donations from other countries, or through the COVAX facility.
But the World Health Organization has said there was so far a limited global supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
Several bills creating a CDC in the Philippines have been filed in both houses of Congress.
In his speech, President Duterte said he may have to be “strict” with the detection of the Delta variant in the country, noting that experts had said this variant was more “aggressive” and “fatal.”
Following the DOH’s confirmation of the Delta variant, the national government announced the reclassification of Metro Manila and other areas as general community quarantine areas with heightened restrictions.
The Metro Manila Council also announced longer curfew hours in the metropolis.