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Excellence in the delivery of basic services for the citizenry has become the common agenda of every government agency in the Philippines under the present administration. One of the important roles of the state is the protection of the general public as mandated under the Constitution of the Republic. Our public servants in government service are duty- bound to protect every Filipino from any harm while efficiently performing their duties and responsibilities for quality service.

 

This is  the line of thoughts you can most probably notice when you transact with  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) head office. With the potent and exemplary leadership of Acting Director KENNETH Y. HARTIGAN-GO, MD, everyone could experience a favorable working atmosphere at FDA. Flow of transactions, personnel’s dequorum and performance, and systems applied are most likely guided with the true principles of quality public service and undauntedly geared towards the realization of the agency’s slogan: “Finding the balance between innovation and sound regulation”. If consistently observed by all FDA personnel, Philippines would be internationally recognized of regulatory excellence safeguarding the health of the populace. It is indeed worthy of commendation and sustainability is passionately hoped.

FDA has distinct role in health sector, where bulk of government funds are being appropriated  as health services is a major indicator for development and a factor in gauging progress and poverty reduction efforts. In the context of Philippine health service delivery, we can categorize various undertakings into two (2) major approaches; protection/prevention and  remedies/assistance. Current situation shows that bigger portion of government’s allocation for health are expended on health programs and projects  which addressed health issues that entails remedies and government assistance such as health insurance, subsidies for medicines and medications/hospitalization, construction and purchase of medical facilities and equipment, etc..

With the growing need on these aspects, the government thru the Department of Health (DOH) is compelled to intensify the other approach of health services – the protection or prevention. This is where FDA’s excellence and  concerted effort are deemed essential as a center for  regulatory power  in ensuring safety, efficacy, purity and quality of  food, drugs and cosmetic products made available in the market. Hence, Republic Act 9711 or  The Food and Drug Administration of 2009 was passed.

Revitalizing the said center for regulation of food, drugs and cosmetic products as well as the fervent implementation of the fresh yet essential law seems to be  the call of time. Innovation and sound regulation are fundamental endeavors for FDA  with the fast-growing population, emerging diseases which sometimes caused by unsafe food and drugs, and proliferation or rapid manufacturing of new products as a result of science and technology  explorations in this modern world.  While number of consumer / population  is increasing who are the subject for protection, the number and magnitude of products and manufacturers to be regulated and monitored are also getting high. This scenario empirically necessitates innovative & efficient strategies. A challenge faced by the Dir. Go as he assumes the responsibility of spearheading FDA. Robed with competence and professionalism, his (Go) administration  now handles the mission and carries-on the tasks to the best of the ability of FDA’s workforce.

From the point of view of both manufacturer and consumer, innovation and sound regulation are now embedded in the entire organization of FDA. The innovative management system applied in the operations is conducive enough to maximize its regulatory power. However, to guarantee the attainment of FDA’s goal, vision and mission, the existing practice must be sustained and thru inter-agency collaboration, the administration must strive-hard for equal adherence to applicable regulations and standards set for the general welfare of the buying-public.