against HIV/AIDS is getting nowhere – TUCP
May 15, 2015
QUEZON CITY – The
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP-Nagkaisa) do
not see any solution amid the frayed attempts of government and civil
society groups to combat the worsening HIV/AIDS phenomenon in the
“I am saddened to admit this
but we have no working, unified national strategy to battle HIV/AIDS
to begin with. What we do have are fighting spirit, will and
determination to wage the battle against it. What we have is noise but
that noise is thin air – it has no impact, no efficiency,” said Alan
Tanjusay, national spokesperson of the TUCP-Nagkaisa.
The labor group is part of
various civil society organizations comprising the country’s highest
policy-making body on HIV/AIDS, the Philippine National Council on
AIDS (PNAC) with the Department of Health (DOH) as lead and chair.
In the monthly surveillance
report of the Epidemiology Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH)
released on May 10 showed 667 individuals contracted HIV in March this
year compared to 646 in February bringing to an average alarming rate
of 21 persons diagnosed with the HIV infection per day.
In 2008, the bureau
monitored only 1 infection every day, 4 in 2010, 9 in 2012, and 17 in
“The PNAC was envisioned to
wage a multi-pronged tactical battle against the virus and the disease
including the cultural discrimination, prejudices and misconceptions
about the phenomenon. Yet after scouting the terrain, knowing the
enemy and drawing up action how to wage it, we just stood there watch
the enemy do its thing,” Tanjusay said.
Created in 1992 by executive
order 39, the PNAC is the central advisory, planning and policy-making
body on the prevention and control of HIV and AIDS in the country.
TUCP is one of the 26 member-council from government, civil society
and organizations of people living with HIV.
“The PNAC cannot go dynamic
because it is challenged by the many government bureaucratic taboos.
It has no real budget to finance its own HIV and AIDS plans and
programs. While PNAC is currently being overhauled, it has been
dormant in achieving its full potential and inert in creating results.
Meanwhile, the HIV/AIDS is spreading and growing all over the
country,” Tanjusay said.