Health workers decry RITM’s ‘imminent’ abolition
MANILA, Philippines — A number of health workers in the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) staged a noon-time break protest Friday to show their opposition to the supposed abolition of the hospital.
Protesting health workers, who are members of the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW), said the creation of the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control (PCDC) will lead to the “imminent abolition” of the RITM, costing the workers their jobs.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. vowed to prioritize the creation of the PCDC, and several bills were filed to the House of Representatives for its creation.
READ: House panel OKs bills creating Center for Disease Prevention and Control
“The creation of PCDC will result in widespread displacement, mass lay-off and streamlining of health workers of RITM and other agencies under the [Department of Health],” said Romeo Garcia, President of RITM chapter of the AHW, in a statement.
Garcia also noted that the house bills seeking for the creation of PCDC have no clear provision that the displaced health workers will be absorbed nor transferred.
“What will happen to us health workers then?” he said.
Based on the PCDC house bills, various agencies within the DOH like the RITM, Epidemiology Bureau, STD-AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory and the Passive International Health Surveillance and Development of Communication Methods which is under the Bureau of Quarantine will be all under PCDC.
The AHW said this would mean that the RITM and other agencies and bureaus will be abolished.
RITM was established in 1981 by virtue of Executive Order 674, with the purpose of inaugurating research for the detection, treatment, prevention of infectious and tropical diseases in the country.
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