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DBM allocates P413 million for Virology Institute's projects

September 23, 2022 - Friday 1:09 PM by Tamara Morrigan Catada

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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has set aside P419.3 million in the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP) for research and development projects of the proposed Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines (VIP).

At present, the Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) spearhead the VIP's medical and scientific undertakings.

These include: Isolation and Purification of Philippine Common Viruses with Medical Importance and Pandemic Potential for Antigen-Antibody Studies; Combination Therapy: Lytic Bacteriophages and Plant Extracts against Multidrug-resistant Bacteria; Detection of Food and Water-borne Bacterial Pathogens Using Phage-based Diagnostics; De Novo Synthesis of Non-infective Zika Pseudovirus as Reference for Diagnostics and Vaccines Development; Development of a Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction for Point of Need Detection of African Swine Fever Virus; Development of PCR-based Detection Kit for Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV) – Philippine Strains; and Antigenic Peptide VLPs as Potential Candidates for COVID-19 Vaccine Development.

"We need to be pro-active and fund for a Virology Institute composed of highly-trained experts who would conduct studies on emerging virus strains as quickly as possible and prepare us in case of health emergencies," DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman emphasized.

For the construction of the building for VIP in Capas, Tarlac, an amount of P250 million is provided under the Department of Public Works and Highways budget in the 2023 NEP.

In his budgetary message on the NEP, President Ferdinand  Marcos Jr. said that the P419.3 million allocation for the VIP mirrored the country's need for faster identification of and response to outbreaks.

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