Now back to the story, I was surprised that a group named People's Movement Against Poverty has taken full page advertisements in major newspapers lambasting Mar Roxas. Because it is printed publicly, I will copy manually for the benefit reader the contents of their charges:
THE TRUTH BEHIND THE CHEAPER MEDICINES ACT
Senator Mar Roxas, you have passed a WATERED DOWN VERSION of the ORIGINAL Cheaper Medicines Bill filed at the 13th and 14th
Congress by Representatives Rolex Suplicao and Ferjenel Biron respectively.
We DEMAND that you explain to the FILIPINO PEOPLE why your Cheaper Medicines Act sought to get LESS FOR THE PEOPLE and MORE for the PHARMACEUTAL COMPANIES.
Cheaper Medicines Bill of the 14th Congress Senate Bill 1658 Mar Roxas Version Inclusion of 1500 essential medicines covered by the reduction of price. Limited reduction coverage to only 22 essential medicines Maximum price reduction of 80-90% reduction of existing prices Limited maximum retail price reduction to only 50%
You hail your CHEAPER MEDICIENS Act- but in reality YOUR VERSION is only for the elite, the rich and perhaps the middle class.
80% of our Filipio people are living below the poverty line. Millions of Filipinos are suffering and even dying because with YOUR Cheaper Medicines Act, THEY STILL CANNOT AFFORD the high cost of essential medicines.
By your joint statment with your presidential candidate, if elected, your promise to further LOWER down the price of medicines. This is an ADMISSION that your version is flawed and watered down. Why then, did you not use the original bill?
Mr. Senator, we hold you responsible for the great tragedy that you have inflected upon our people.
Ronald A. Lumbao
People's Movement Againset Poverty
No.84 Ilocos Sur St., Bago Bantay, Quezon City * Tel.NO.: 466-3181510-8240.
Certainly Mar Roxas cannot pass bills by his actions alone. Bills must pass both houses of Congress, the Lower House of Representatives and the Upper House of the Senate. So singling out Roxas is a puzzle.Why does the advertisement not mention those who voted for passage of the bill? And arent Rolex Suplicao and Ferjenel Biron Part of the proceedings in the passage of the bill.
To us, these representatives blame Congress for passing the bill. Are these two representatives saintly to hurl accusations against Mar Roxas?
Moreover, from the link (we request the reader to read it) Hontiveros:Biron protecting-GMA, vested interests.released Feb. 23 (more than a month already!)
Liberal senatorial bet and Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros today revealed that Iloilo Rep. Ferjenel Biron is taking the offensive to seek vengeance after he failed to protect his own vested interests and his principal—President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo—in the Cheaper Medicines Law. We discover something deeper: Hontiveros, co-author of the Cheaper Medicines Law, said
"the proposed Drug Price Regulatory Board of Biron would have representatives of pharmaceutical companies, which is a clear intrusion of vested interests in the law....Such regulatory board—like similar regulatory bodies in other industries—is susceptible to corruption and to “regulatory capture.”
She revealed that
Biron and his family owns Philippine Pharmawealth Inc. and Pharmawealth Laboratories, which have been suspended or disaccredited by the Department of Health and the Bureau of Food and Drug in numerous instances in the past due to its sale of substandard medicines.
So much for the expensive advertising! Now we know better....
And thru this all, this still does not help the candidacy of Loren Legarda and she trails Mar Roxas considerably.