Solons want LGUs to use IRA for medical program

Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star) - April 24, 2014 - 10:20am

MANILA, Philippines - Two Mindanao lawmakers have proposed that local government units should allocate a portion of their internal revenue allotments for free medicines to indigent patients in their areas.

Under House Bill 3300, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said LGUS would set aside part of their IRAs for free medicines to provide free medical care program for the poor.

"Medical attention without the concomitant medicines being administered to the patients is meaningless," Rodriguez said.

The bill is also authored by Rodriguez's brother,  Abante Mindanao partylist Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. said.

Section 1 of bill states: "It shall be the obligation of all local governments to set aside and earmark a portion of their Internal Revenue Allotments for appropriation for free medicines to be distributed to the public hospitals, clinics, dispensaries or other outlets to indigent patients for free in their localities."

The proposed law also provides that "all pharmacies or outlets distributing or dispensing free medicines shall render periodic accounting of such disbursement duly posted in at least three public boards specifying the patients’ name, address, doctor prescribing the medicine and the amount or cost of the medicines."

In addition to the criminal liability incurred by persons for violating pertinent provisions of the Revised Penal Code or other special laws, the following acts also shall constitute a crime under the proposed law:

a) Preparing a list or certification that a patient is indigent when he is not;

b) Submitting, preparing or altering any document to make it appear that any legitimate acquisition, purchase, disbursement or distribution had been made for free medicines when in fact there is none;

c) Diverting, concealing or using for other use or purpose, the funds for free medicines;

d) Dispensing or distributing the free medicines under the Act other than to indigent patients;

e) Selling or disposing of the free medicines;

f) Marking up or padding the purchase cost of medicines acquired under the Act; and

g) Knowingly purchase expired medicines or those expiring within one (1) year from date of purchase.

Violators shall be sentenced to an imprisonment of not less than two years but not more than seven years.

ABANTE MINDANAO FREE INTERNAL REVENUE ALLOTMENTS MAXIMO RODRIGUEZ JR. MEDICINES ORO CITY REP REVISED PENAL CODE RUFUS RODRIGUEZ TWO MINDANAO UNDER HOUSE BILL
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