Philippines Psoriasis Bill Approved

19 November 2021

By Camille Lancelot

On November 16, 2021 the Philippines' Committee on Health approved in principle House Bill No. 9821, entitled: "An Act Institutionalizing a National Psoriasis Care Program and Appropriating Funds Therefor." This momentous achievement comes after months of advocacy on the part of Psoriasis Philippines and their partners.

Watch the public deliberations here (beginning at 1:04:44)

The bill will address unmet needs and improve the quality of life of Filipinos living with psoriatic disease by scaling up essential programs and increasing investments for robust management of psoriatic disease including:

  • Better screening and prompt and accurate diagnosis
  • Timely and optimal treatment
  • Responsive palliative care and pain management
  • Effective psoriasis care and late effects management
  • Integration of people living with psoriasis into society
  • Equitable access to psoriatic disease care, especially for underprivileged Filipinos

Representatives from the Department of Health supported the bill, affirming that psoriatic disease is a public health issue affecting not only 1.8 million Filipinos living with the condition, but also their healthcare providers, families, and employers. The bill will provide relief to all these groups, and will reinforce the Philippine's shift to an integrated health system. Approvals were equally voiced by:

  • PhilHealth
  • Department of Budget and Management
  • Department of Social Wellfare and Development
  • Department of Labor and Employment
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Philippines Medical Association
  • Philippines Dermatological Society
  • Government Service Insurance System

Chairperson Hon. Angelina "Helen" D.L. Tan M.D., who sponsored the bill, said "It's about time that the [Department of Health] included psoriasis in their programs. This proposal is a comprehensive program, integrated in the community and in all healthcare facilities."

Overcome with emotion, Josef De Guzman, President of Psoriasis Philippines made short but powerful statement, saying "Thanks to all of you. For the first time you are talking about our condition which is very difficult."

The bill was approved unanimously in principle, awaiting the submission of further position statements.

We send heartfelt congratulations to PsorPhil and all who will benefit from this bill. We look forward to hearing more about their successful journey!

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