Experts urge PH gov’t to update Traditional & Alternative Medicine Act
Botanical experts have pressed for an update of the Traditional & Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA) as they sought support for the potential use of 1,008 Philippines-endemic plant species that can be tapped for novel drugs development.
TAMA, or the Republic Act 8423, aimed to develop homegrown natural products through research and development.
“There should be a constant updating of this law in response to the changing demands of our times,” Harold Carag and Inocencio Buot Jr. said in a scientific journal article on Sylvatrop of the Ecosystems Research & Development Bureau (ERDB).
The researchers also pressed for the maintenance of an online database for easier reference of drug development experts.
“The enormous importance of medicinal plants in the health sector is undeniable. Pharmaceutical companies and health-inclined institutions could draw possible novel plant resources in the quest of manufacturing medicines. This would hopefully help improve our country’s economy,“ the journal further said.
As the Philippines is recognized to be one of the world’s most biodiversity-rich countries with more than 65 percent of world’s 10,000 plus plant species found to be endemic here, it can benefit economically from its rich natural resources.