SENATOR JV Ejercito wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) separated from the Department of Health (DoH) to strengthen its regulatory capacity.
Ejercito’s Senate Bill No. 1631, which is an amendment to Republic Act. No. 9711 or the FDA Act of 2009, proposes that the FDA be placed under the Office of the President instead.
“Naisip ko lang kung ang FDA ay attached agency ng DoH eh compromised na s’ya so dapat talaga independent sila para kung ano man ang ipapasok ng DoH ay pag-aaralan nila, hiwalay sila,” Ejercito said.
Under the proposal, the FDA would be headed by a director-general, with the rank of a department secretary who would be a member of the Cabinet.
The director-general, Ejercito said, should be appointed by the President subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.
Ejercito noted that the current organizational structure of the FDA being an attached agency of the DoH “breeds potential conflict that can compromise its neutrality.”
“To further enhance FDA’s regulatory capacity and strengthen its capability with regard to the inspection, licensing and monitoring of establishments, and the registration and monitoring of health products, it is rational to institute FDA as an independent and autonomous body,” the bill states.
The FDA is tasked to regulate a wide range of food and health products.
Ejercito filed the bill in the wake of the controversy hounding the DoH over the P3.5 billion anti-dengue vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur whose sale, distribution, and marketing have been suspended by the FDA.