MANILA— Senator JV Ejercito on Thursday filed Senate Bill 1631, seeking to institute the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an independent agency separate from the Department of Health (DOH).
This, in light of the controversy surrounding the approval of sale and purchase of dengue vaccines found to have a serious medical risk to those who have not been previously exposed to dengue virus.
Ejercito said FDA is mandated to approve drugs to be purchased by the DOH. In the bill, he cited that, “the current organizational structure of the DOH having FDA as one of its attached agencies breeds potential conflict that can compromise the neutrality of FDA.”
In a press conference, he said: “it would be better if the FDA would be independent so kung ano man ipapasok, ia-analyze nila independently.”
“Naisip ko lang kung ang FDA ay attached agency ng DOH, compromised na siya,” he added. “We just want to be sure that they will not be compromised.”
To further enhance FDA’s regulatory capacity and strengthen its capability with regard to the inspection, licensing and monitoring of establishments, and the registration and monitoring of health product, the bill stressed: “it is rational to institute FDA as an independent and autonomous body.”
As such, FDA is proposed to be attached to the Office of the President for “administrative purposes”.