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The 1987 Philippine Constitution declares that it is the policy of the State to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them. Consistent with the national health policy, the President of the Philippines signed into law, on February 20, 2019, Republic Act No. 11223 (RA 11223), otherwise known as the Universal Health Care Act (UHC law), which was passed by the 17th Congress of the Philippines. The provisions of the UHC law seeks “to progressively realize universal health care in the country through a systemic approach and clear delineation of roles of key agencies and stakeholders towards better performance in the health system and to ensure that all Filipinos are guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health care goods and services, and protected against financial risk.”
Under item b of Section 35 on Ethics in Public Health Policy and Practice, the UHC law mandates that “all manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, biological and medical supplies registered by the FDA shall collect and track all financial relationships with health care professionals and health care providers and report these to the DOH.” On October 10, 2019, the Secretary of Health signed the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of the RA 11223, which included the IRR for Section 35. Declaration of financial relationships between manufacturers of health products and health care providers and professionals has public health importance and value. Clinical evaluation and approval of innovative health products, including formulation of regulatory policies, are more efficient when conflicts of interest are addressed and managed through transparency and disclosures.