Press Release
January 23, 2009


BAGUIO CITY - 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 --today 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. explaining that direct purchases from

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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