President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday said his government would give its full support to health researchers as he underscored their importance in helping the country overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his speech during the 15th National Health Research System Week held in Pampanga, the president lauded the researchers for reinforcing the country’s frontliners with better knowledge of erstwhile unknown diseases.

“The unparalleled commitment of our health researchers to pressing our nation forward for a healthier and safer future is certainly worth our recognition,” he said.

“But then, I think we are better prepared because we have formed and we have had experience during the Covid-19 pandemic. And that I think still remains to be the key when it comes, as I said, to the work that you do, I think that will be the key element to our success,” he added.

Marcos Jr. also reiterated his call for the creation of the Virology Center of the Philippines and the country’s own Disease Control Center.

“I have presented to both houses of Congress the proposed creation of the Virology Center of the Philippines that we can consolidate in a better way all of the disparate research, all the different sources of knowledge, all the different sources of research and new data,” he said.

“And secondly, of course, is the creation of our own Disease Control Center here in the Philippines so that — so that we are ready for the unfortunate warnings that we are always getting that this is not going to be the last pandemic, at least not in our lifetimes,” he added.

The president also pushed for the employment of evidence-based systems to help the government in its decision-making process.

“One of the greatest jobs of government was to try and counteract that by providing actual good information and guidance for what people should be able to do, so that they can mitigate the effects. If they have gotten sick, mitigate the effects, get better quicker, and avoiding and preventing the acquiring of the disease in the first place,” he said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro