Lawmakers want FDA to be independent from DOH
MANILA, Philippines — Two lawmakers have filed separate bills seeking to make the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) independent of and autonomous from the Department of Health (DOH) to prevent “instances of potential conflicts of interest” and spare the agency from “undue politicking.”
Kabalikat ng Mamamayan (Kabayan) party list Rep. Ron Salo and Quezon lawmaker Keith Micah Tan have revived proposals to make the FDA an independent agency by filing House bills Nos. 721 and 1101 which have been referred to the House committee on government reorganization.
Similar House bills were filed in the two previous Congresses. Both proposed measures would amend Republic Act No. 3720, which created the agency.
The lawmakers cited “instances of potential conflicts of interest” with the FDA under the DOH and advised that the agency be instead attached to the Office of the President (OP).
“This setup weakens the independence and autonomy of the FDA in the performance of its functions,” Salo pointed out, adding that the FDA should be made an attached agency of the OP.
Tan noted that making the FDA an attached agency of the OP instead would strengthen its regulatory and monitoring capacity, saying: “An autonomous and independent FDA paves the way for the establishment of clear lines of responsibility and accountability and ensure the availability of healthy food, drugs, cosmetics medical devices and household products in the market.”
—JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE
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