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Presidential aspirant Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. said more budget must be allotted for medical research, deeming how it can be crucial in times like the ongoing pandemic crisis.
Marcos, the standard-bearer of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) was created in the 1980s and even after many years, it has shown its excellence when it became the only laboratory in the country that can test the COVID-19 in the early months of the pandemic.
However, Marcos pointed out the low budget of the research center caused many missed opportunities for the RITM since it was tasked to plan and implement research programs for infectious and tropical diseases only.
“Yung Research Institute for Tropical Medicine ay bagay na bagay ngayon ‘yan dito sa pag-aaral sa Covid. Pero kaya nga lang nung lumipas ang panahon, hindi binibigyang importansya itong mga institute na ito,” the Presidential aspirant said.
“Sayang naman at maraming missed opportunities pero may pagkakataon pa tayo, alam na natin ang problema. Alam na natin kung saan tayo nagkulang. I-build up natin yung mga facilities ng ating mga research. Napakaimportante, kasi naman ‘di natin iniisip dahil wala naman noong Covid, wala namang pandemya, ngayong may pandemya, pinaa-alala sa atin na kailangang gawin ang lahat ng ito,” he added.
Marcos also sees the need to strengthen the University of the Philippines’ National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) noting that the country should be able to produce its own vaccine.
“Dati gumagawa na tayo ng sarili nating flu vaccine, ginagawa sa UPLB (UP-Los Banos) at nakakapagbakuna ng 60 percent ng population. Kaya naman natin gawin pero kailangang pagtibayin at pagandahin ang sistema. Ang daming bagong teknolohiya na pwedeng i-take advantage,” he said.
Marcos said he understands the purpose of creating and maintaining research facilities in the country that’s why he aims to increase its budget and strengthen these facilities that can be helpful not only during this time but for the years to come.