By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte has sought the creation of the Philippine Blood Disease and Transfusion Center to cater to Filipinos with hematologic disorders.
Under House Bill 8774, Villafuerte proposed the creation of the Blood Center that will offer comprehensive care for patients with blood diseases, including blood transfusion services, for public welfare.
“The National Blood Services Act of 1994 or Republic Act 7719, sought the strengthening of voluntary blood services nationwide in the advent of rise of blood-borne infections, HIV threats, and dengue fever. This bill proposes to add to this by making sure that the adequate supply of blood assured by RA 7719 is coupled with appropriate research and laboratory centers for hematologic disorders,” Villafuerte said.
He said his bill aims to help decrease the cases of hematologic diseases in the country.
The Camarines Sur lawmaker said the Center will be under the direct supervision of the Department of Health (DOH) but managed by its own Board of Trustees for policy direction and control.
Under HB 8774, the Blood Center shall submit an annual report to the DOH.
“The Center will also be mandated to adopt and enforce a program for indigents needing blood or blood products, as well as to attend to those with blood diseases,” Villafuerte said.
HB 8774 provides that the Blood Center shall be exempted from the payment of taxes on all contribution and all accruals on its income and investment earnings; and from all other taxes, whether direct or indirect, on its income, properties and operations.
The bill allocates P850 million for the initial operation and maintenance of the Blood Center. Thereafter, such sum as may be necessary for the continued operation of the Blood Center shall be included in the Annual General Appropriations Act.
The DOH is tasked to issue the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act within 60 days from its effectivity.