ROXAS UNDER PRESSURE OVER CHEAPER MEDICINE BILL
Mar Roxas has been on the receiving end of harsh criticism over the Cheaper Medicine Law. The bill, which he revised, was originally the work of now Iloilo vice-governor, Rolex Suplico. Fellow vice-presidentiables, Loren Legarda, Jejomar Binay and even the bill’s original author had a few words for Roxas.
The bill was supposed to discount 90% off the price of some 1,500 drugs. Roxas’ new Cheaper Medicine Law also transfers the responsibility of price control to the Department of Health instead of an independent board.
Loren Legarda accused Roxas of prioritizing his private interests rather than the nation’s saying, “Merong nagpanggap na syang author ng cheaper medicines ni Cong. Rolex, kinuha yung titulo at tinanggal yung laman at ginawang pro-multi national at hindi maka-mahirap. This law is really anti-poor. It is pro-multinational it is anti-poor. Pinatay ni Mar yung batas.”
The author of the original bill, Suplico, wasn’t any kinder in dishing out his thoughts. “It’s a weak law. In fact, when it was passed we made a statement that this law is a weak law, that it will not benefit the majority of the Filipinos. But at least we have something because everyone is aspiring in the last 50 years to reduce price of medicines. So hinarangan, you know, ngayon ang humarang he’s the one laying claim as the author of the law. Dahil kay Mar Roxas naging bakla ang batas.”
Roxas is constantly questioned over the law and this comes to no surprise. He has dug himself into this hole and there seems to be no reprieve for him.