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The importance of traditional medicine in providing essential health care to the people should be recognized. At present, its use has tremendously expanded and gained wide global acceptance and popularity. In the Philippines, the practice of traditional medicine, which was passed on from generation to generation, has gained a deep significance in health delivery considering the expensive western medical treatment which most Filipinos could not afford.
In 1992, the Department of Health (DOH), through former Health Secretary and incumbent Senator Juan M. Flavier, first came out with the Traditional Medicine Program by virtue of Administrative Order No. 12. This special program was tasked to promote and advocate traditional medicine nationwide. In order to institutionalize the program, the drafting of a traditional medicine law started in 1994. Then in 1997, President Fidel V. Ramos, appreciating the potential of traditional medicine in our health and economy, included this as one of his administration’s pole-vaulting strategies.
The timely approval of Republic Act 8423 (R.A. 8423) otherwise known as the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA) of 1997 gave rise to the creation of the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), a government owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) attached to the DOH to answer the present needs of the people on health care through the provision and delivery of traditional and alternative health care (TAHC) products, services and technologies that have been proven safe, effective and affordable. Foremost among its objectives are:
To encourage scientific research on and develop traditional and alternative health care systems that have direct impact on public health care;
To promote and advocate the use of traditional, alternative, preventive and curative health care modalities that have been proven safe, effective, cost-effective and consistent with government standards on medical practice;
To develop and coordinate skills training courses for various forms of traditional and alternative health care modalities;
To formulate standards, guidelines and codes of ethical practice appropriate for the practice of traditional and alternative health care as well as in the manufacture, quality control and marketing of different traditional and alternative health care materials, natural and organic products, for approval and adoption by the appropriate government agencies;
To formulate policies for the protection of indigenous and natural health resources and technology from unwarranted exploitation, for approval and adoption by the appropriate government agencies;
To formulate policies to strengthen the role of traditional and alternative health care delivery system; and
To promote traditional and alternative health care in international and national conventions, seminars and meetings in coordination with the Department of Tourism, Duty Free Philippines, Incorporated, Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation and other tourism-related agencies as well as non-government and local government units.
"Traditional and alternative health care in the hands of the people"
"PITAHC upholds the right of every Filipino for better health through the provision of safe, effective and affordable traditional and alternative health care products, services and technologies."
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