PH virology, vaccine institute to rise at New Clark City
MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga – The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has allocated a five-hectare portion of the New Clark City for the construction of the proposed Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines.
In a statement on Monday (Oct. 10), the BCDA said it recently signed an agreement with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to move “a step closer towards the formation of the country’s premier virology research institute that will strengthen our wall of protection against infectious diseases.”
“BCDA recognizes the value of this virology research center in our battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as any other infectious diseases that may endanger us in the future,” BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Aileen Zosa was quoted as saying.
Zosa added: “That is why the BCDA entered into this arrangement with DOST for a property in New Clark City, which will host this significant institution.”
The DOST earlier emphasized how Filipinos may benefit from the virology and vaccine institute, which is envisioned to be the country’s foundation of research and innovation on human, animal, and plant viruses in the next 10 to 15 years.
The department is waiting for the passage of bills in Congress for the establishment of the institute.
It said several Filipino scientists based in foreign countries have signified their intention to work at the institute under the “Balik Scientist” program of the agency.
The BCDA said the DOST has started its research and preparations for this undertaking, including negotiations and the signing of an agreement with BCDA, while waiting for Congress to pass the bill proposing the establishment of the institute.
Under the agreement, BCDA shall be allocated a 5-hectare parcel of land in New Clark City for a period of 50 years, which may be extended for another 25 years.
The site development and construction of the facilities shall be financed by the DOST, and completed within six years from the signing of the agreement.
The DOST is expected to submit within six months from the signing a comprehensive development plan for the property, which must comply with the New Clark City comprehensive development master plan and design standards and guidelines.
This, the BCDA said, will ensure that the property will adhere to the principles of smart, sustainable, and safe design.
The institute’s complex is expected to have an administration building, lecture hall, good manufacturing product building, human and animal virology laboratory, plant virology laboratory, animal isolation, biosafety level 3 and 4 laboratory building, plant cultivation area, dormitory, power station, and a sewage treatment plant.
According to the BCDA, the establishment of a virology and vaccine institute, along with a center for disease control, is among the priorities of the Marcos administration in view of the health sector’s emerging needs brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. INQ
Creation of virology, vaccine institute in PH ‘crucial’ for PH
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