By Genalyn Kabiling
The nation can look forward to intensified government effort to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and fight the social stigma amid the imminent passage of a law.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque issued the statement after lauding Congress for the ratification of the bicameral version of the proposed Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) Policy Act.
“The Philippines made a significant milestone when the Senate and the House of Representatives ratified the Bicameral Conference Committee Report on the bill which aims to strengthen the existing policy on HIV/AIDS prevention in the country,” Roque said.
“We can look forward to a society that is empowered to prevent, not only the spread of the disease but also the stigma that comes with it,” he said.
Roque also welcomed the ratification of the bill since he was the principal author of House Bill No. 253 when he served as Kabayan party-list representative.
The measure seeks to allocate more funds for HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment as well as improve access to healthcare services in communities.
He said the bill amends the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998. He noted that the alarming rise in HIV/AIDS cases highlighted the need for a comprehensive and updated legal framework addressing HIV and AIDS.
“This measure would strengthen the Universal Health Care (UHC) given that the UHC covers preventive health services. Wala ng Pilipinong may HIV/AIDS ang magsasabi na hindi siya nabibigyan ng serbisyo at suportang pangkalusugan mula sa pamahalaan [No Filipino with HIV/AIDS can say that he was not given health care and support from the government],” he said.