The creation of the Virology Institute of the Philippines (VIP) will receive PHP983 million under the proposed budget of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for 2022.

House Assistant Majority Leader and Cebu First District Representative Eduardo Gullas said the country’s first research and development institute, devoted exclusively to the study of Covid-19 and other viral diseases in humans, animals, and plants, will be housed in a state-of-the-art facility inside the New Clark Economic Zone in Capas, Tarlac,

“The DOST will be getting PHP1.3 billion for new R&D (research and development) spending next year, and P983 million of the outlay will go to the VIP,” Gullas said in a statement.

“The VIP has become absolutely imperative for the country to eventually develop its own capabilities to create future vaccines against viral diseases.”

Last month, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved with 198 yes votes House Bill 9559, which proposes to create the VIP.

Gullas said the VIP is envisioned to examine not only Covid-19 variants but all emerging viruses, their disease-producing properties, classification, cultivation, and genetics.

“The institute will analyze viruses in the wild that could possibly infect people and endanger public health in the future, as well as those in livestock that could potentially break out and threaten our food supplies,” Gullas said.

The institute shall establish strategic partnerships with the world’s leading scientists, virology centers, and institutes; and conduct innovative and pioneering research that will advance the frontiers of virology.

It shall promote and undertake the transfer of the results of scientific research and development to concerned government agencies, industry, and the academe.

An information system on virology science and technology for use by the public and private sectors must be developed and maintained.

The Virology Research Fund, with an initial amount of PHP2 billion, will be used exclusively for the implementation of the Virology Institute Strategic plan.

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1152043