11332

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The Covid-19 pandemic has changed or forced our society to change in ways we probably have never imagined. Our country has made much improvement in disaster preparedness such that protocols and programs on disaster preparedness are slowly being integrated into government policies, budget, and community life. One might say that the focus of much of our policies have been on the natural disasters which our country experiences more frequently such as typhoons, floods, and earthquake. The question is “Did the country undertake the necessary steps to prepare for a pandemic such as the one we are now in the middle of?” I am not in the position to answer this or assess the preparedness of our country when it comes to epidemics or pandemics but there were laws enacted to help control the spread of infectious diseases. Republic Act 11332 was signed into law last 26 April 2019 and repealed RA 3573 “Law of Reporting Communicable Diseases”.

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R.A 11332

The full title of the law is “An Act Providing Policies and Prescribing Procedures on Surveillance and Response to Notifiable Diseases, Epidemics, and Health Events of Public Concern, and Appropriating Funds thereot, repealing for the Purpose Act No. 3573, Otherwise Known as the “Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases”. The new law is not only about surveillance and reporting of infectious diseases but also institutes response to the same. It does not also only deal with infections or diseases caused by bacteria or viruses but also those caused by chemicals such as toxins or nuclear attack. For as long as the health threat has the possibility of causing widespread infection, threat, or even death it comes under the purview of this law. Notable provisions of this law are on the obligation of health workers including institutions to participate in surveillance and response. The law aims to “/r/espect to the fullest extent possible, the rights of people to liberty, bodily integrity, and privacy while maintaining and preserving public health…

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