In a virtual forum held on 10 October 2022, key officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Congress declared their all-out support for the immediate passing of House Bill No. 9559 or the Virology Institute of the Philippines Act.

Other than informing lawmakers on the bill's importance, the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) of the DOST organized the legislative forum to secure the support of non-government organizations, professional societies, and other stakeholders.

The bill, having been successfully passed on the third reading by the 18th Congress of the Philippine House of Representatives (HR) on 28 July 2021, is now awaiting the approval of a counterpart measure by the Philippine Senate.

Once established, the Philippine Virology Science and Technology Institute (PVSTI), the complete name of the facility, will spur local research on disease-causing human, animal, and plant viruses—as well as the development of affordable and home-grown diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics.

With global competence in mind, the PVSTI will collaborate with various international organizations, database networks, and pharmaceutical firms on technology transfer in managing a virus gene map and reference, genome, and high-containment laboratories.

In advancing the "One Health" approach of the World Health Organization, the PVSTI will seek to contain the crises brought about by habitat destruction and the wildlife trade, mainly the COVID-19 pandemic that has so far amassed over 626 M cases worldwide.

Acd. Arvin C. Diesmos of the DOST-NAST's Biological Sciences Division believes that the PVSTI is "a bold vision for the Philippines and the ASEAN Region" that will play a key role in "creating more partnerships between the government and the private sector."

DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. branded the PVSTI as a future "aspiration"
in achieving "self-reliance" in the area of virology. "We can never predict the next viral outbreak, but we can always be ready and be prepared for the challenges head-on."

Rep. Carlito S. Marquez, Chairperson of the HR Committee on Science and Technology, considers the establishment of the PVSTI as "a priority in our national agenda" and "a monumental legacy" in the country's policy on public health research.

Speaking in Filipino, Sen. Christopher Lawrence T. Go—Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography—echoed his support and reminded the public
of the need to prepare for health crises that could impact the country in the future.

On the other hand, Dr. Annabelle V. Briones, director of the DOST's Industrial Technology Development Institute, disclosed that the PVSTI will be built in a 5-hectare site within the New Clark Economic Zone that is administered by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

The PVSTI, to be headed by one director and two deputy directors, will have special divisions for virus, diagnostics and therapeutics, and vaccines research; technical services and training; policy, planning, and linkages; and finance and administration. (By Allyster A. Endozo, DOST-STII and screenshots from the virtual forum)