BOQ 2016 Partners’ Forum
Last December 20, 2016 the Annual Partners and Stakeholders’ Forum of the Bureau of Quarantine was held at the City State Tower Hotel Manila. This year’s forum focused on presenting to partners its milestones and roadmap towards achieving its vision as a travel health bureau. The occasion pave way to the launching of the Quarantine Services and International Health Surveillance System (QSIHSS) and the presentation of the 2012 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Quarantine Act of 2004.
Dr. Alexander Oba, Division Chief of the Inspection Services of the BoQ gave the presentation on the milestone of the Bureau. The presentation highlighted the BoQ’s brief history, its primary mandate, its jurisdiction, and the Bureau’s current profile specifically the number of Quarantine Stations nationwide. Dr. Oba also emphasized the Bureau’s commitment with local and national partners and stakeholders, and with international organization such as the World Health Organization, the International Maritime Organization and International Civil Aviation Organization. He ended the presentation with the intervention strategies of the BoQ in its journey towards achieving its vision to be a world-class bureau for local and international health surveillance and providing travel health services to its clients.
Dr. Oba’s presentation was followed by Dr. Alwyn Asuncion, Division Chief of the Medical Services on the plan of the said division in the area of vaccination as part of roadmap in attaining travel health bureau. Dr. Asuncion opened his presentation with the data on the local situation of reported (including mortality) infectious diseases; he then presented the travel information of both foreign and local travelers, to include the Overseas Filipino Workers, and their claims on health. Dr. Asuncion highlighted the required and recommended vaccines for travelers as per WHO’s International Travel for Health of 2012. As part of preparation of the Bureau to be Travel Health Bureau, Dr. Asuncion presented additional vaccines that will be made available in the Bureau. The last part of his presentation was on BoQ’s implementation strategies primarily focusing on policy and enabling policies that will institutionalize these new strategies in the Bureau’s mandate.
The BoQ Deputy Director, Dr. Ferchito Avelino presented the concept behind the web-based nationwide quarantine reporting system that includes both disease surveillance reporting and reports of services rendered by the Bureau to its stakeholders. The new on-line reporting system of the Bureau is known as the Quarantine Services and International Health Surveillance System (QSIHSS). QSIHSS was developed with the technical support from the Department of Health – Knowledge Management and Information Technology Services (DOH-KMITS) has three (3) developmental phases, namely: (i) the International Health Surveillance and Issuance of Permits for Human Remains; (ii) the Inspection and Launch Services, Medical Services and Issuance of Certificates to Food Handlers and Stewards; and, (iii) Integration with iClinicSys and PIDSR.
The on-line reporting system of the Bureau was officially activated by Asec. Agenette Peralta who represented the Secretary of Health together with Usec. David, in-coming Usec. Villaverde, Asec. Laxamana Asec. Dumama and Directors Valdez and Salcedo.
The official launching of Quarantine Services and International Health Surveillance System (QSIHSS) was spearheaded by Undersecretary Lilibeth David, Director Maylene Beltran, Assistant Secretary Agnette Peralta, Assistant Secretary Maria Francia Laxamana, Assistant Secretary Abdullah Dumama Jr, Undersecretary Mario Villaverde and Director Ferdinand Salcedo.
The Director of BOQ, Dr. Ferdinand Salcedo, presented the 2012 revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Quarantine Act of 2004 to its partners and stakeholders. The revisions of the said IRR focused on the following areas:
- Requirements for Cargoes and Materials for Medical Transplants, and Research;
- Vaccination Requirements for Travelers;
- Sanitary Requirements and Food Safety;
- Medical Clearance of Foreigners for Immigration Purposes
- Clearances and Transport of Human Remains;
- Services Fees; and
- Utilization of Bureau’s Income.
The copies of the 2012 revised IRR were officially distributed to Bureau’s major partner agencies such as the Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, Maritime Industry Authority, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the Joint Manning Group and the World Health Organization.
The revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Quarantine Act of 2004 was presented to the Bureau’s major partners, including the World Health Organization represented by Dr. Benjamin Leine.
The highlight of the event was the Secretary’s message to the Bureau and its partners and stakeholders. Her message was read by Assistant Secretary Agnette Peralta.