A House of Representatives panel recommended the passage of a bill that would guarantee the allowance for the purchase of medicines and other community health requirements necessary for indigent patients.
The House Committee on Local Government unanimously approved Bill 10392 which provides for the mandatory allocation of 15% of the annual internal revenue allowance (IRA) of local government units (LGU) for services health services, which includes providing free medicines to their respective constituents.
HB 10392 consolidated legislative proposals tabled by the vice-president and the representative of the city of Cagayan de Oro Rufus Rodriguez and the representatives Cyrille “Beng ‘F. Abueg-Zaldivar (2nd district, Palawan) and Angelina Tan (4th district, Quezon) .
The legislative proposal which should be presented for deliberation in plenary in the lower house next month proposes to modify article 287 of the law of the Republic no. 7160 or the Local Authorities Code of 1991.
Filed separately, Rodriguez and Abueg-Zaldivar’s bills require LGUs to spend part of their respective ARIs on free medicine for indigent patients.
On the other hand, Tan’s proposal specified that the amount of IRA to be set aside annually should be 15 percent of the IRA received by the LGU for the year.
Tan noted that following the Mandanas-Garcia Supreme Court ruling, LGUs should expect at least a 30 percent increase in IRA which will be distributed by the national government next year. .
The authors of the measure stressed the need to ensure the financing of drugs and other medical needs of the constituents of the LGU, especially since the country is still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rodriguez lamented that while many patients receive free hospitalization or consultation for various ailments, they are on their own when it comes to getting prescribed medications.
“Medical attention without the concomitant medications given to the patient doesn’t make sense,” Rodriguez said.
“Once again, poverty deprives many needy patients of the rare opportunity for medical progress and recent discoveries in curing illnesses because drugs are hardly affordable and far from the reach of the needy patient,” said the head of the hospital. bedroom.
Abueg-Zaldivar found that studies have indicated that drugs in the Philippines are five to 30 percent more expensive than in other parts of Asia.
She said this fact makes it harder for needy patients to access the drugs they need.
“This is a poverty reduction program aimed at increasing the population’s access to an unlimited distribution of drugs. It is about providing assistance to needy patients so that they can immediately get the medicines they need, ”said Abueg-Zaldivar.
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