By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday lauded the signing of the law that would strengthen the government’s response on addressing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the country.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Wednesday confirmed that President Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11166 or the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018 last December 20.
“As principal author and co-sponsor of the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Law, I am happy that the measure was finally signed into law by the President. It is a great way to start the new year,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
The HIV/AIDS awareness advocate said the new law provides “hope to future generations” as it would address the spike in new cases of the disease, especially among those aged 15-24. The measure, she said, provides young Filipinos with the correct information and healthy values that will protect them from the disease.
With the signing into law of the measure, Hontiveros said the government would now have a “modern” policy to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS in the country.
“With this law, the government can now effectively update and upgrade its response to this growing problem,” she added.
Hontiveros said the new law also ensures a “human rights-based, humane and scientific” approach to address HIV and AIDS. She said it would “protect the rights of persons living with HIV, afford accessible treatment through updated health technologies, and educate more people for prevention and de-stigmatization.”
She said President Duterte’s signing of the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Law was an “important milestone in our healthcare system.”
“It is an institutional victory that will certainly make our healthcare services more responsive to the needs of the people. Many lives have been unnecessarily lost due to AIDS, including the lives of many young people,” she said.
“Today, we change the course of this rising epidemic and hopefully, help usher in an AIDS-free generation,” Hontiveros added.
Hontiveros, along with Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, authored the Senate version of the new law.