Bong Go

Bong Go lauds PRRD for imposing maximum retail price on 71 drug formulas

December 8, 2021 People's Journal 207 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go commended President Rodrigo Duterte for signing an executive order which imposes a Maximum Retail Price (MRP) and/or Maximum Wholesale Price (MWP) on 71 drug formulas, following EO No. 104 earlier signed by the President on February 17, 2020.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa ating mahal na Pangulo sa pag-apruba ng ating rekomendasyon na paigtingin pa lalo ang access ng mga Pilipino sa murang gamot lalo na ngayong may pandemya,” said Go.

“Patuloy po tayong magtatrabaho para maging mas mabilis, maayos at maaasahan ang serbisyong pang-medikal sa ating bansa,” he added.

Newly signed EO No. 155 provides for price regulation through the imposition of MRP and MWP on the remaining drugs and medicines under EO No. 104. The drugs covered include those which address chronic disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as immunosuppressant drugs for Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma and skin concerns, among others.

It also requires every manufacturer, importer, distributor, wholesaler, trader or retailer of the cox$vered drugs or medicines intended for sale to display the retail price.

The MRPs and MWPs will be subject to review by the Department of Health, in consultation with the Department of Trade and Industry, six months after the effectivity of the EO and every six months thereafter.

The DOH, in consultation with relevant government agencies, is also tasked to study and propose measures, including, but not limited to pooled procurement, price negotiation and other mechanisms, which will influence supply, demand and expenditure on drugs and medicines, in accordance with Republic Act No. 9502 or the “Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act”.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Communications Operations Office will assist the DOH in the dissemination of information on the price regulation.

Any violation of the EO will be dealt with in accordance with RA No. 9502 and other related laws. The Secretary of Health is directed to investigate alleged violations of the MRP/MWP, impose administrative fines and penalties, and call upon and deputize government entities for assistance, as may be necessary.

In February 2020, Duterte signed EO No. 104 which regulates the MRP and MWP on “select drugs and medicines totaling 87 drug molecules or 133 drug formulas.”

“Daming nawalan ng trabaho at hanapbuhay. Ngayon pa lang nakakabangon. Kaya malaking bagay ito para sa mga apektadong Pilipino,” said Go.

“Napaka-importante ng buhay ng bawat Pilipino. Gagawin natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya para maproteksyunan ito,” he added.

The senator assured the public that he and President Duterte will continue to serve and protect the welfare and interest of Filipinos, especially the most vulnerable sectors of society and the future generations.

“Rest assured kami po ni Pangulong Duterte, kapakanan at interes po ng bawat Pilipino ang uunahin natin dito lalo na at may banta pa ng pandemya,” Go said.

“Gusto naming hindi na maging problema ang pagpapagamot ng mga mahihirap. Gusto naming mabigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang susunod na henerasyon habang unti-unting bumabangon ang ating bansa,” he added.

To further improve Filipinos’ access to quality healthcare, Go also pushes for the establishment of “super hospitals” in every region in the country.

“The more we invest sa ating healthcare system, the better. Dapat po ay maging proactive po tayo. Huwag na tayong maging kumpiyansa. Noong nangyari sa atin, nabigla tayo,” stressed the senator.


‘Digitalization crucial in business, job creation, economic recovery’ — Bong Go

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go emphasized the need to digitalize government processes and transactions as the country adapts to the new normal towards pandemic recovery. He cited a survey revealing that the vast majority of Filipinos believe that digital technology can improve business and employment creation.

“We need e-governance to provide our people with the services they need from the comfort of their homes or workplaces. Not only shall it enable our bureaucracy to better transition into the ‘new normal’ but it will also cut or minimize red tape and corruption,” Go explained.

According to a survey conducted by Social Weather Stations for the Stratbase ADR Institute for Strategic and International Studies in October this year, about 89% of Filipinos recognized the advantage of digital technology in the creation of jobs and businesses.

The respondents agree “more overwhelmingly,” with 94% agreeing that digitalization has a lot of advantages, according to the research group.

Meanwhile, 92% of the respondents said that the government should create, upgrade and expand the country’s digital infrastructure to increase speed, dependability and access across the country.

Some 82%, on the other hand, said that the government and private sector collaboration can boost the growth of the economy.

In July 2020, Go filed Senate Bill No. 1738, or the E-Governance Act of 2020, which mandates the government to establish an integrated, interconnected, and interoperable information and resource-sharing and communications network spanning the entirety of the national and local government, an internal records management information system, an information database, and digital portals for the delivery of public services.

Under the measure, the government, both national and local, can also enter into contracts, agreements, or partnerships with the private sector to provide various resources, assets, and services in order to comply or enhance compliance with the provisions of the proposed law. All contracts or agreements with the private sector will be subject to the laws and rules on public accountability and transparency and good governance.

The measure likewise pushes for the digitization of paper-based and other traditional modes of workflows for a more efficient and transparent public service.

Go said that the transition of the government to the digital age has been a long time coming.

“In an age where almost everything can be done online and through other digital platforms, the government must harness the power of information and communications technology to better serve its purpose and bring the government closer to the people,” Go said.

“Nag-aadjust na ang buong mundo. Nag-evolve na rin ang operasyon ng pribadong sektor. Hindi dapat mapag-iwanan ang serbisyo mula gobyerno. Gamitin natin ang teknolohiya upang mabigyan ng mas komportableng buhay ang mga Pilipino,” he added.

The senator also mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic “highlighted gaps, both foreseen and unforeseen, in the delivery of government services in the country.”

He added that major government social services and programs are also being forced to shut down, limiting the public’s accessibility to public services at a time when the same are needed the most.

“The new normal warrants the government to consider and adopt, in a very radical but pragmatic way, the importance of digital transformation and use of electronic services and platforms to enable the government to do better,” Go explained.

In support of this endeavor, Go said that his measure will promote such transition to digitalization, eliminating delays and other problems associated with the traditional way of governance in communications and resource and information sharing.

More importantly, Go stressed that the public will feel that the government is actually and truly at their fingertips.

“Nakita natin ang importansya ng digital transformation in government. Sa private sector, napilitan ang mga negosyo na mag-adopt ng e-commerce techniques para mapabuti ang mga serbisyo nila,” Go said.

“Lalo na sa gobyerno, there’s no better time than now to prioritize the government’s digital transformation,” he added.