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    The late Sen. Miriam actually filed bill to prepare PH for pandemic, it remains 'pending'

    MANILA, Philippines – The late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago always had the reputation for being one of the most brilliant minds in the government. With the world, including the Philippines, now scrambling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, word soon got out that the late senator actually filed a bill in 2013 to prepare the Philippines for a pandemic! Sadly, the bill remains ‘pending’.
    Sen. Miriam actually filed bill to prepare PH for pandemic

    Handling a pandemic

    Filed on September 5, 2013, about 7 years before the world is hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Senate Bill no. 1573 known as the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act aims to help prepare the Philippines against a pandemic or a deadly virus. In the bill, the senator pointed out that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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    “This bill is built upon such wisdom by seeking to strengthen national response and preparedness for public health emergencies, such as those which result from natural disasters and severe weather, recent outbreaks and pandemics, bioterrorism, mass casualties, chemical emergencies and radiation emergencies.”

    Sen. Miriam actually filed bill to prepare PH for pandemic, it remains 'pending'
    Photo credit: Facebook/Senator Miriam Santiago

    Under the bill, the Department of Health (DOH) is mandated to undergo evaluation, planning, organizing and training. This is to improve the country’s preparedness if and when a public health emergency happens.

    SEE ALSO: 10 super badass things we learned from the late Miriam-Defensor Santiago

    The Health Secretary is tasked to spearhead the creation of a national health strategy to address public health emergencies. This will include “plans for optimizing a coordinated and flexible approach to the medical surge capacity of hospitals, other health care facilities, critical care and trauma care, and emergency medical systems.”

    There will also be a “medical reserve corps” composed of volunteer health professionals (doctors, nurses, nurse assistants, hospital orderlies, etc.), just like the military reserve. They will be called into duty, if needed.

    Under the bill, there will also be a task force comprised of the National Security Adviser, the DOH, the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to manage the crisis.

    Miriam's Senate Bill no. 1573 still pending in the Committee.
    Miriam's Senate Bill no. 1573 still pending in the Committee.

    The bill itself is brilliant and could have saved the Philippines from the outbreak had it been passed into law. But its “legislative status” remains “pending in the committee”, according to the Senate’s official website.

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    Timely bill

    The bill was actually timely as it was filed just months after the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), also caused by a strain of coronavirus. The virus was deadly, infecting a total of 2,506 people from September 2012 to January 2020 and leading to 862 deaths, according to data from the World Health Organization.

    At the time the senator filed the bill, it was just 3 months after health experts all over the world conducted emergency international meetings to find ways to combat that mysterious virus that was described at the time as “the single biggest worldwide public health threat”. MERS overshadowed the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus outbreak from late 2002 to July 2003 that had 813 deaths out of 8,437 cases.

    Sadly, COVID-19 overtook the two cases in leaps and bounds. As of March 27, 10:00 CET, a total of 509,164 confirmed cases have been reported across the world, with 23,235 deaths.

    — Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

    29 comments:

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    1. That's the Senate of our Republic, imagine, pending for years??!! OMG talaga 😠

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    2. Oh shoot!! Bakit nakapending pa Rin to. Napakaganda Ng nilalaman at hangarin nito sa hinaharap oh. Ayaw napagsasalitaan Ng Hindi maganda at nababatikos ngunit... Ay Sha!

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. stupid senate and stupid people voting for this sanate.

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      Replies
      1. Because some peoples in the senate only approves bill which willl be beneficial to them.

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    5. We are all deeply saddened by this devastating pandemic we are facing now. Upon reading this news, it saddens me more to think that if such bill had only been passed into law, our current situation would not have been this worse.

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    6. Naiyak ako, namatay nalang sya Hindi pa na tupad ang hangarin nya

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      1. She is the president that we, Filipinos, never had.😓

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    7. I sincerely hope that we rise and defeat this pandemic and carry with us the learnings and the teachings that we will take away from this. Hopefully, to never again entrust our souls to people who doesnt even, genuinely, care for us and our country. Let this generation be a foundation of something tgat the lives of those people who died from this pandemic , be worth the sacrifice.

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    8. One of the most? No, actually she is the only one who has a brilliant mind in the government.

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    9. Kung meron lang talagang alternate reality or parallel universe na hindi naman si MDS at sya ang naging presidente, gusto ko nalang lumipat duon.

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    10. we are intittle to our opinion but we don't have the right to judge!

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    11. Blame Abs CBN and the Bias Media as the kingmaker

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      1. ur a dds right? abs loves her,they tried to make her the king..making lots of interviews even the time when she was named lunatic..spoonfeeding the voters her wisdom u denied to see..so who'se to blame u ask? 3yrs panot didnt approve the bill,3yrs ilong didnt approve the bill, and most of all the stupid voters making same mistakes over and over again.

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      2. why blame the presidents for that? Pnoy as well as Pdut weren't at fault here. As far as I know passing a bill passes through a series of process. May first, second and third reading pa yan tapos transmitted to the senate before ma punta sa presidente. Hirap kase satin turo ng turo sino may kasalanan tapos wala namang malawak na kaalaman sa issue. Tapos pag nag salita ka ng valid argument you are branded as DDS or Diliwan. Wala talaga pag asa ang Pilipinas kase hindi lang ang mga namumuno ang may problema mas malala yong mga taong pinamumunuan. Masyado tayong entitled sa mga opinyon natin, wala namang substance. Kakainis, minsan mapapaisip ka nalng na sarap mangibang bansa tapos magpabago ng citizenship. hays

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      3. Ang sabi pending in senate.. hindi pending in the offixe of the president..

        Di naman kayo nagbabasa ng maayos.. Meaning sa senate siya hindi naipapasa.. dahil hindi nila priority ang mga ganyang bagay.. Instead pf whining kung bakit at kung sana lang.. mga theoretical opinions formulated in our amazing kokotes.. Bakit hindi nalang natin gawin kung ano ang pwede nating gawin today na kahit man lang sa maliit na bagay eh nakakatulong tayo sa kapwa natin, sa banda at sa ating ekonomiya.. Walang magagawa yang whining at pagrereklamo natin.. Hindi tayo makaka.move forward kung parati tayong ganyan.. Deal with it.. ika nga..

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    12. that's my lunatic ironlady for u..my only president.. stupid senate?she filed the bill when she was a senator..the president needs to approve that bill..filed 2013..so i say stupid presidentS..panot and ilong.but she ran vs ilong..and again lost..why?who voted for her?the idiotic pinoys..i voted her for the last 2 elections..but pinoys dont know how to pick the best..always the worst.n u say u learned already?then why the divided nation?

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      1. She id also my president. She should have been the president if not cheated by pres ramos.

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    13. Why it’s still pending? Ask the likes of Jinggoy Unggoy and Bong Revilla. Apparently, their pockets are more important than this bill.

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    14. The real brilliant politician

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    15. She was the president that we didn't deserve, but the president we needed.
      She was going to be the light of the filipino people, and I am deeply saddened by the fact that she already knew that this was going to happen.

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    16. THAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN...SENATE SHOULD BE REMOVE, IT'S A WASTE OF PEOPLE'S MONEY...PURO AWAY, INTRIGAHAN...LAWMAKERS,BUT LAWBREAKERS..LIKE LA-COCOTE PIMENTEL...PALAKIHAN NG TYAN..NGTATABAAN C KURAKOT,,LALO NA MGA YELLOWTARDS,,,PURO PANSARILING INTEREST LG....

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    17. I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. Thank for sharing!

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    18. wala yata nag adopt ng bill, Kaya hindi na napansin ng Ilan sa ating mamba atas.. sana may makapansin sa bill ni late madam Miriam.

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    19. The case is that philippine Govt. Prepared for the establishment more accurately for the transportation and oil production over the preparedness of Nation's health. This case must have given attention prior to this crises. The then Administration had accomplished nothing but failure in the future.

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    20. That bill and the other bills she made are already dead in the Congress. A bill dies when the Congress adjourns its reular session. Senator Miriam's last stint in Congress is the 15th Congress (2013-2016). The bills was pending until it died upon the adjournment of Congress. This bill needs to be refiled in the present 18th Congress.

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