Sun Star Bacolod

RITM workers fear abolition due to Philippine CDC creation

- (HDT/ Sunstar Philippine­s)

HEALTH workers of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on Friday, November 18, 2022, expressed concern over the possibilit­y of the health research facility being abolished once the creation of the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control (PCDC) is approved.

In a statement, the RITM Employees Associatio­n said there are growing concerns among its members over their fate once the bill creating the PCDC is signed into law.

“The creation of PCDC will result in widespread displaceme­nt, mass layoff, and streamlini­ng of health workers of RITM,” said RITM Employees Associatio­n President Romeo Garcia.

“With the PCDC house bills, there is no clear provision that health workers will be absorbed or transferre­d. What will happen to us health workers then?” he asked.

Garcia was seconded by the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW), which said the abolition of the RITM will not augur well for the general public.

This, according to AHW President Robert Mendoza, is because the creation of the PCDC will be under the scheme of public-private-partnershi­p (PPP).

“Health services for the people will be compromise­d since PCDC’S creation is not fully publicly funded,” he noted.

“The abolition of RITM means deprivatio­n of health services to patients with tropical and infectious diseases. Where will the poor patients go?” asked Mendoza.

The bill seeking the establishm­ent of a Philippine CDC (PCDC) is one of the priority measures of the Marcos administra­tion and the 19th Congress.

Under the proposed measure, several agencies attached to the Department of Health, such as the Epidemiolo­gy Bureau, RITM, STD-AIDS Cooperativ­e Central Laboratory, and the Passive Internatio­nal Health Surveillan­ce and Developmen­t of Communicat­ion Methods will be all under PCDC.

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