Reception Hall, Philippine International Convention Center (PICC)
Pasay City, Metro Manila
October 13, 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the opening of the 65th Session of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Western Pacific, an assembly of local and foreign health leaders that aims to tackle major health issues concerning the world.

Over 250 representatives from member countries and partners have gathered to discuss matters related to emergency and disasters, universal health coverage, antimicrobial resistance, tobacco, and mental health among others.

In his speech, President Aquino remained firm on the continuous efforts of our country in improving public health. According to him, the issues discussed in the previous sessions remained relevant as ever amid new and evolving challenges.

“In the face of this, however, what has always remained strong and sure is our conviction to overcome these challenges together. Our gathering represents the determination of 37 member-states or associate members, and areas to work as one community,” the President said.

He mentioned several healthcare programs in the Philippines, which he considers a greatest achievement for a country that arose from complicated and frustrating situations. These are the PhilHealth, the sin tax bill, and the responsible parenthood and the reproductive health bill, which over the years, provided more than promise care and helped Filipinos with their life.

Likewise, President Aquino highlighted the deployment of thousands of medical staff and community health teams all over the archipelago, whereas a total of 46.39 billion pesos has been allotted from 2010 to 2014 to upgrade and rehabilitate public health facilities.

“These are only a few of the critical measures our administration has taken in order to ensure that Filipinos have access to quality healthcare. Yet there is more to be done, especially in light of the new challenges arising today,” he said.

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