The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11036, or the Mental Health Act, was signed on Tuesday afternoon, one of its authors said.
Kabayan party-list Representative Ron Salo, who attended the signing ceremonies, is optimistic that with the IRR in place, the Department of Health (DOH) would be proactive in its defense of the mental health rights of Filipinos.
"I laud the DOH, particularly Secretary Francisco Duque, for immediately coming up with the IRR that would ensure proper implementation of the law," Salo said.
"It took more than three decades to push for this particular law that comprehensively promotes the mental health of Filipinos,” he added.
The Mental Health Law, provides basic mental health services down to the barangay level while increasing the capacities of mental health professionals.
The law also secures the rights and welfare of persons with mental health needs and mental health professionals, integrates psychiatric, psycho-social, and neurologic services in regional, provincial, and tertiary hospitals, improves mental healthcare facilities, and promotes mental health education in schools and workplaces.
Salo urged the DOH and the other agencies tasked to implement the Mental Health Law to ensure that their mental health services are always available and accessible.
He added that mental health services should also be accessible to overseas Filipino workers, particularly those who work in distress situations and high-stress environments.
“The real work now starts with the implementation. Universal health care is incomplete without caring for our people’s mental health," Salo said.
"In real crisis situations, including missing person cases, the public must be able to contact specialists who can immediately respond with expert intervention," he added. —LDF, GMA News