Business groups are asking Congress to focus its efforts on building the capability of the Department of Health (DOH) and local governments to better respond to the global health crisis.
In a position paper, the biggest business groups in the Philippines said existing laws already detail plans to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We recommend that, instead of the passage of a new law, the esteemed Congress reallocate resources and grant additional funding for the DOH and LGUs in order to improve the implementation of Republic Act No. 11332,” the groups said.
House Bill No. 6623, the proposed New Normal for the Workplace and Public Spaces Act, seeks to legislate current quarantine rules like social distancing and wearing of masks in public and make these mandatory for three years or until a vaccine against SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,
Republic Act No. 1132, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, already prescribes, among others, a system of integrated reporting, containment, quarantine, isolation, contact tracing and testing.
The groups said the new bill, backed by Speaker Alan Cayetano and Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte this week, “may not be applicable or apt to all areas in the Philippines.”
Response strategies in preventing and controlling the spread of infection, the groups said, “is a matter best left at the subnational level — in the case of the Philippines, on a barangay, city or province level.”
The statement was signed by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc., Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc., European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc., Foundation for Economic Freedom, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Inc., Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, and Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc.
Edited by TSB
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