House okays revised HIV and AIDS Policy and Program Law
The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill seekingto strengthen the country’s comprehensive policy on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus(HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) prevention, treatment andcare. House Bill 6751, known as The Revised Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy and Pro-gram Act of 2012, also aims to protect the rights and freedoms of those afflicted with HIVand AIDS and improve their living conditions. The bill, which was endorsed by the House Committee on Health chaired by Rep.Alfredo Marañon III (2
District, Negros Occidental), substituted House Bill Nos. 4129,5312 and 5605.One of the key provisions of the bill is restructuring the legal framework on HIVand AIDS by harmonizing it with evidence-informed strategies and approaches on the pre-vention, treatment, care and support for HIV/AIDS victims and ensuring a response that isappropriate, flexible and relevant to the characteristics of the HIV epidemic facing thecountry. Rep. Imelda Marcos (2
District, Ilocos Norte), one of the authors of the measure,lauded the bill’s passage and said this would go a long a way at helping in the treatment of 46,000 Filipinos projected to be affected by the said disease by 2015. “The establishment of a National HIV and AIDS Program will pave the way for thecreation of a road map on HIV and AIDS that has clear strategies, targets, operationaliza-tion framework and funding,” Marcos said. The bill clarifies the roles and responsibilities of state institutions involved in theHIV and AIDs response from government national agencies to the local level.Rep. Kaka Bag-ao (Party-list, Akbayan), another author of the measure, said the billstrengthens the stigma reduction mechanisms of the law, which guarantees that the coun-try’s HIV and AIDS response is premised on respect, recognition and promotion of humandignity. “It likewise strengthens the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) as the cen-tral planning and implementing agency for HIV and AIDS concerns by increasing its func-tions and providing a permanent secretariat to support its activities,” Bag-ao said.
NR # 3001BJAN. 31, 2013