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Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

Private sector asked to invest in health

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The government and the private sector will need to work together to develop and promote "health resiliency" to invest in science, and to collaborate on amending or introducing new legislation to help the country adapt to the "new normal."

According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, these are the key lessons of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic that has spread across over 200 countries, territories and areas in less than four months.

Speaking on Thursday at the Virtual Forum on "Shaping Business Resiliency 2020: The Private Sector's Response to the New Normal" organized by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Nograles stressed that "health resiliency" should already be a part of the country's policy vocabulary.

"A lot has been said about resiliency in terms of natural disasters, but I think the new normal necessitates resilience in terms of the health aspects. We now have to consider health resiliency as one of the new things we have to really factor in moving forward," Nograles said.

Nograles, a co-chair of the government's Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), said the Covid-19 outbreak showed that there are still gaps in the country's ability to deal with a health pandemic.

"I think that is where innovation, research and development, and science come in. So, focus has to be given to these components, not only on the part of government, but that of the private sector, which has to come in and also take a look at increasing investments in research and development, science and innovation,” he said.

The former lawmaker from Davao also pointed out that the pandemic "also shows us that there is a need to revisit our laws and our current legislation that may no longer be applicable.”

“We need to improve certain legislation that we have in order for us to deal with this new normal,” he said. “The private sector can help us in government take a look at what sort of legislation we need to review and need to amend — or any other new legislation we have to enact; [the private sector] has to come in and help us in this regard.” 

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