SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy.—The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them; adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development, with priority for the underprivileged sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children; endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost; establish and maintain an effective food and drug regulatory system; and undertake appropriate health manpower development and research, responsive to the country’s health needs and problems.
SECTION 2. Mandate.—The Department shall be primarily responsible for the formulation, planning, implementation, and coordination of policies and programs in the field of health. The primary function of the Department is the promotion, protection, preservation or restoration of the health of the people through the provision and delivery of health services and through the regulation and encouragement of providers of health goods and services.
SECTION 3. Powers and Functions.—The Department shall:
(1) Define the national health policy and formulate and implement a national health plan within the framework of the government’s general policies and plans, and present proposals to appropriate authorities on national issues which have health implications;
(2) Provide for health programs, services, facilities and other requirements as may be needed, subject to availability of funds and administrative rules and regulations;
(3) Coordinate or collaborate with, and assist local communities, agencies and interested groups including international organizations in activities related to health;
(4) Administer all laws, rules and regulations in the field of health, including quarantine laws and food and drug safety laws;
(5) Collect, analyze and disseminate statistical and other relevant information on the country’s health situation, and require the reporting of such information from appropriate sources;
(6) Propagate health information and educate the population on important health, medical and environmental matters which have health implications;
(7) Undertake health and medical research and conduct training in support of its priorities, programs and activities;
(8) Regulate the operation of and issue licenses and permits to government and private hospitals, clinics and dispensaries, laboratories, blood banks, drugstores and such other establishments which by the nature of their functions are required to be regulated by the Department;
(9) Issue orders and regulations concerning the implementation of established health policies; and
(10) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
SECTION 4. Organizational Structure.—The Department shall consist of the Department Proper, National Health Facilities, Regional Offices, Provincial Health Offices, District Health Offices and Local Health Agencies.