SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
09 June 2021 09:06:55 PM
The House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability terminated Wednesday its motu proprio inquiry based on House Resolution 1711. The resolution, principally authored by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera-Dy, seeks to examine the policies and guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the registration, utilization, manufacture, distribution or sale of drug products for the treatment of COVID-19. During its third hearing, lawmakers questioned the DOH on the regulation of Ivermectin to be prescribed for treatment and prophylaxis of COVID-19. Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta said that there is already overwhelming evidence from international experts on the efficacy of Ivermectin as treatment for COVID-19. DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III still supports the official position of the FDA that there is still low evidence on the efficacy or effectiveness of Ivermectin. Duque added that President Duterte already gave a directive to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to conduct its own clinical trial on the use of the Ivermectin drug. “It would be prudent to give that clinical trial in the Philippines a chance to work and let’s look at what the results will be,” Duque said. Meanwhile, ANAKALUSUGAN Partylist Rep. Michael Defensor believes that there should be a public policy coming from the DOH in balancing the risk and the benefit on the use of Ivermectin. He also emphasized that the number of deaths from COVID-19 could have been curtailed if only Ivermectin was permitted to help treat the virus. Also, Herrera-Dy asked the DOH’s policy as she conveyed her concerns on the inoculation of children including toddlers against COVID-19. She said that subjecting children to vaccination could have long-term effects as all are still experimental vaccines. “Pag-aaralan pa po talaga ito. Hindi naman po sila kasama sa ngayon sa ating prioritization framework. So, ito po magkakaroon ng sapat na panahon para makita rin natin kung ano ang magiging karanasan at matutunan natin kung ano ang magiging epekto,” Duque responded. The panel will prepare the draft committee report on HR 1711. The hearing was presided over by Committee Chairperson and DIWA Partylist Rep. Michael Edgar Aglipay.