By Macon Araneta

Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed a bill requiring public officials to submit a medical certificate showing fitness to work on an annual basis.

Under Sotto’s Senate Bill 1818 public officials shall submit their medical certificate showing their physical fitness to perform their duties and responsibilities, as well as laboratory test results, on or before April 30 each year.

The filing of the bill comes in the wake of President Rodrigo Duterte health being questioned after the Chief Executive claimed his doctors told him that he is nearing Stage 1 cancer.

Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go cited as fake news reports about the failing health of the President and guaranteed he can finish his term and even live beyond his term.

The 1987 Constitution requires the government to disclose the health condition of the President in case of serious illness. 

Sotto said that such submission will ensure that the state’s public servants are In a good state of health to perform their duties and responsibilities and promote transparency as to the health status of public officials and employees.

The bill provides that the annual physical examination of public officials and employees can be done in a public or a private hospital, or a diagnostics clinic accredited by the Department of Health.

The annual physical exams sponsored by the government or agency conducted in partnership with a health maintenance organization is also allowed.

Sotto’s bill defines public officials and employees as elective and appointive officials and employees, permanent or temporary, whether career or non-career service, including military and police personnel.

A medical certificate, on the other hand, is defined under the bill as a written statement issued by a government physician, attesting to the result of a medical examination undergone by the patient.