AMIDST the recent spate of high-profile celebrity suicides, a House leader yesterday called on President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte to sign into law the “Mental Health Act” transmitted by Congress to Malacañang last May 21.
Deputy Speaker Romero “Miro” S. Quimbo, principal author of the “Mental Health Act” and member of the bicameral conference committee that consolidated the House and Senate versions, pushed for the law following the recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.
”Now that the ball is in its court, hopefully Malacañang will act soon,” said Quimbo, urging President Duterte to sign the bill into law.
“Apart from the messages of support and calls for greater awareness of mental health issues, what is needed most by the countless Filipinos who live with mental health problems is concrete action by the government,” he added.
“Advocates have tirelessly pushed for the Mental Health Act for well over a decade and in the past year both Houses of Congress have finally passed and consolidated this important measure,” Quimbo recalled.
The Mental Health Act was approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives in November, 2017 and consolidated by both Houses of Congress in January of this year. It aims to address current shortcomings in the government response to mental health needs of Filipinos by providing a coherent, rational, and unified response to mental health problems through the reconstitution and strengthening of the Philippine Mental Health Council as well as the formulation and implementation of the National Mental Health Care Delivery System.