The Philippine government has allocated P284 Million worth of initial funding in 2021 for the purchase of equipment and other needs that will be used to start research activities under the proposed Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP), which may arise at the New Clark Economic Zone in Capas, Tarlac by the end of 2023 or in 2024, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.
A 5-hectare land is allotted for the VIP site while the DOST and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority are finalizing the term sheet before signing the lease contract for the “state-of-the-art” facility.
Another P50 million has been allocated to the Department of Public Works and Highways for the design of the VIP this year so that construction may start in 2022, said DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina Guevara.
Guevara also noted that the construction might take two years to complete, therefore the building will be opened by the end of 2023 or in 2024.
Guevara said that the virology institute “will not only deal with human viruses but with viruses against animals and plants,” noting that the Philippines is currently still incapable of developing a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
While the bill for the operation of the VIP is still pending in Congress, DOST has already initiated research and development works with six projects on the way focused on the fields of human, animal, and plant virology and the research areas of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.