Press Release
April 28, 2008

Transcript of interview with Senator Mar Roxas on ANC's 'Mornings @ ANC' (excerpts)

Q: What happens if the House refuses to give in?

MAR: They'll have to answer to their constituents, to the President herself, with her authority over her party-mates in the House. Our people have been waiting for this. The bill is multi-faceted. There will be parallel importation to improve competition. There will be 'no new use' and 'early working' provisions so that the domestic generics industry will be able to strengthen themselves and be more competitive. We will put more money in BFAD so that they can process all of the applications much faster. There will be a no-discrimination clause, so that the drugstores will be first to place these competing products on the shelves. There is a reason why we have all of the powers to set prices and to impose penalties, and this will be imposed by the Secretary of Health and the President of the Republic of the Philippines. By the way, the House counterparts we've been talking with agree also. I was just off the line with Congressman Teddyboy Locsin, he is also perplexed why out of the blue, this is happening. Call him up right after and ask him.

Q: What's next? Are we gonna have another bicam meeting?

MAR: We are already circulating the bicam report, and people can sign or not sign. Time is up, pass your papers. You're either going to help our people, or dribble this again. Remember what happened in the last Congress? The Senate had its version, the House did not pass theirs. Now we are ready, we're here, let's see what will happen. The House and Senate have agreed, there may be a few who disagree, let's ask them, why? Let's look at the two versions, what they want versus what's in the bill, and see the differences. There are no differences, or if at all, they are de minimis, they are certainly not enough reason to stop the passage of the bill.

Q: Can this still be passed by May 1?

MAR: There is no reason why this can not happen. We are now circulating the report, we will finish signing this in the Senate by later afternoon or by later tonight, and then it will be sent to Malacañang, and it's now up to the House what they will do.

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