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Digong can help lower cost of medicines

/ 05:00 AM July 30, 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) missed mentioning helping the poor by making medicines affordable to them.

The high cost of maintenance medicines is one of the reasons for the high death toll among the poor.

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Medicines for diabetes, hypertension, kidney problem and high cholesterol, for example, are so costly that the poor can’t afford them.

President Digong can help bring down the cost of medicines considerably by supporting small and medium local pharmaceutical companies.

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Mano Digong can order the Department of Health to buy medicines from such companies instead of from multinationals and a huge local manufacturer once identified with President Marcos.

Anyway, all medicines have the same potency or efficacy since they all pass through the Food and Drug Administration.

Advertising and doctors’ conventions and travels, which multinationals and the big local firm sponsor, are the reasons for the prohibitive cost of branded medicines.

Helping the moribund small and medium pharmaceutical firms will improve the economy as they will employ thousands of workers.

* * *

Congratulations to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales for winning the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Her “moral courage and commitment to justice” and “her example of incorruptibility, diligence, vision and leadership” won her this year’s award, according to the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation.

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Only a few judges or justices could match Morales’ courage in resolving difficult criminal cases where the respondents are powerful and influential government officials.

If the country had more Moraleses our justice system would improve by leaps and bounds.

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Three of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award recipients are not individuals but groups: Vientiane Rescue, Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), and Dompet Dhuafa or “Wallet of the Poor.”

All of the three are nongovernment organizations involved in helping the poor, the needy and the distressed.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award extols the nobility of spirit in helping others, especially the less fortunate.

Uplifting the lot of the poor was the guiding principle of President Magsaysay, who died in a plane crash on March 17, 1957.

* * *

Speaking of nobility of spirit, the Filipino has it in abundance.

For example, the Wong Chu King Foundation helps families of tobacco farmhands by giving their bright children scholarship grants. It promotes apostolic charity by renovating centuries-old Catholic churches or building new ones.

The foundation also helps disaster victims and the sick through medical or rescue missions, and takes care of the aged such as those at the Home for the Elderly.

The foundation is named after a Chinese-Filipino who came to the Philippines from Amoy, China, years before World War II.

He established the La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos after the war and became very rich.

Wong Chu King is gone, but his legacy lives on.

His children made his full name their surname: Wongchuking.

His most prominent offspring is Alex Wongchuking, president of Mighty Corp.

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TAGS: “Wallet of the Poor”, advertising, Alex Wongchuking, Death Toll, Department of Health, Dompet Dhuafa, duterte, Food and Drug Administration, Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, JOCV, La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos, Mighty Corp., pharmaceutical firms, Philippine economy, Ramon Magsaysay Award, Rodrigo Duterte, Sona, State of the Nation Address, Vientiane Rescue, Wong Chu King Foundation
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