HoR approves affordable drugs bill on 2nd reading

Seems I may have spoken too soon (read entry below).

At close to midnight last night, I received a text message from one of the prime movers behind the affordable medicines bill, Atty. Blas Viterbo, who said that House Speaker Jose de Venecia used his convincing power to push for the passage of the half-priced medicines bill authored by Cong. Junie Cua and Rissa Hontiveros-Baraquel on second reading. There was a slight ruckus, I gather, caused by the presence of Pfizer executives in the House gallery. The drug firm apparently overstayed its welcome, with Rep. Teddy Boy Locsin pointing the way out.

I wasn’t able to get all the details, but am glad that the Speaker decided to actively intervene. Still, it is but fair to ask: Why the obvious reluctance among some congressmen to pass a measure that clearly benefits all Filipinos?

Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

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