Senator Roxas to Department of Budget and Management: Allow LGUs to use funds to import Cheap Meds

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas said the Department of Budget and Management should allow local government units (LGUs) to use its funds to purchase quality and affordable medicines directly from the Philippine International Trading Corp.

Roxas—in partnership with City Government of Baguio, DSWD-Baguio and DOH-CAR— last Friday held a medical mission and forum on the Universally Accessible, Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008 at the Sunshine Park, which was attended by about 600 senior citizens.
"Mas mabilis ang pagdating ng murang gamot sa kamay ng taumbayan kung kalahok ang mga LGU sa programang ito (The LGUs' participation in the cheaper medicines program will hasten the access of the people to quality and affordable medicines), the primary author of the landmark law said.

"Kaya dapat nang payagan ng DBM ang mga LGU na bumili ng murang gamot sa PITC gamit ang nakalaang pondo nila. (DBM should allow LGUs to use its allocated funds for cheaper medicines through the PITC)," he said.
During the forum, Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, Chairperson of the Baguio City Council Social Welfare and Development Committee, conveyed to Roxas that it would be faster for LGUs like Baguio City to purchase medicines for their senior citizens and other sectors in need if DBM exempts from the normal yet lengthy bidding process any direct purchase of medicines from the PITC.

To which, Roxas replied that direct purchases from PITC—which is mandated to import quality and affordable medicines from other countries—should be considered a government-to-government transaction which involves the protection and saving of human lives, thus, negotiated procurement may be allowed.
"Ang mahalaga ay madala natin sa taumbayan ang abot-kaya at de-kaledad na gamot. Magtulungan tayo para mapabilis ang aksyon ng gobyerno (It's important that we bring quality and affordable medicines to the people through the fastest possible process. Let's help each other so government action would be swifter)," he stressed.



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Kevin Ray N. Chua

Kevin Ray N. Chua is a 19 year-old blogger from Cebu City, Philippines and an IT Student at Cebu Institute of Technology.

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1 comments
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jude
on May 4, 2009 at 4:50 PM  

Have you seen the "Ganito kami sa Makati?" ad of mayor J Binay? It was good, except that that cannot possibly be done for the rest of the country. Muntik nang tumumba ang Makati dahil sa utang nito sa Makati Med.

There is plenty of scope for improving the PhilHealth system, which is the system we have nationwide and within the reach of ordinary LGUs -- even from a cheap meds perspective. One hears that Capiz has a very good system of medicine for PhilHealth members that is "pre-paid" by PhilHealth for its members. There are a few other places that have these systems: Sogod in Leyte, Catanduanes province, Agusan del Sur -- maybe the LP governors and mayors can adopt these pre-paid na gamot programs. They don't cost anything. Pre-paid na, cheap meds pa!

JE, QC

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