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DOH lauds tobacco tax bill passage in Congress

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 6th, 2019

Courtesy : Fb_DOH

The Department of Health (DOH) lauded Congress for approving the bill that seeks to increase taxes in tobacco and alcohol.

The Senate has approved the said bill, 21-0 during the last session of the 17th Congress on Tuesday (June 4). This bill will assist in funding the Universal Health Care law

READ: Country in a ‘win-win-win’ situation with increased cigarette tax—WHO

According to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, the bill will help fill the P40-billion funding gap for the UHC program.

“Sin tax will also fund the Universal Health Care program that will provide comprehensive quality and affordable healthcare, including preventive care to encourage healthier lifestyles, for all Filipinos,” he said in a statement.

Based on the approved bill P10 will be the added tax to the per pack of cigarette starting next year and it will increase by P5 for the suceeding year.

Courtesy : FB_DOH

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#WorldBloodDonorDay: WHO urges people to give blood, save lives

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the public to donate blood ahead of the celebration of the World Blood Donor Day on June 14 (Friday).

In a Twitter post, the WHO Philippines called on the public to participate in a blood donation drive they will organize with the Philippine Blood Center on June 13 (Thursday).

The bloodletting activity will be held in Sta. Cruz town, Manila from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“In early celebration of #WorldBloodDonorDay, WHO Philippines will be organizing a blood donation drive on 13 June, with the Philippine Blood Center,” the WHO Philippines announced.

“Join us at our office inside the @DOHgov compound from 9am to 4pm. Donate blood, save lives!” the agency added.   

According to the WHO website, the theme for this year’s campaign is blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusion, as a component of achieving universal health coverage.   

The slogan “Safe blood for all” was also developed to raise awareness on the universal need for safe blood in the delivery of health care and the crucial roles that voluntary donations play in achieving the goal of universal health coverage.

The WHO said the theme aims to strongly encourage more people all over the world to donate blood regularly, and to urge all governments and health authorities to provide adequate resources and implement systems to increase blood collection, promote/implement appropriate clinical use of blood, and to set up policies for the oversight and surveillance on the whole chain of blood transfusion.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III emphasized the need for blood especially during rainy season when mosquito-borne disease called dengue is more prevalent in the Philippines.

“That’s the time when you will have to consider ensuring availability of blood. In areas of identified hotspots, you have to ensure that delivery units have adequate stock of blood,” Duque said.

Aside from raising awareness, according to the WHO, the event also “serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.”The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2019 is Rwanda and the global event will be held in Kigali on June 14.

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Online selling of prescription drugs not allowed by law – DOH

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, June 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Social media have become a popular platform for online selling of almost everything – from shoes, clothes, gadgets, machines, food, even health supplements and prescription medicines.

A concerned netizen posted on social media how easy it was for her to order prescription medicines from an online store and pay the amount at any payment center.

The UNTV News Team checked on the online pharmacy which the netizen mentioned and what other prescription medicines were available for purchase.

The online pharmacy was still open but the prices of medicines were no longer posted.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), selling prescription drugs online is not allowed and may incur penalties under the law.

“Hindi pwede iyang antibiotics sa Lazada (Antibiotics are not allowed on Lazada). That is a violation of our Generics law and Cheaper Medicines Act,” noted Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

“Prescription is a must. It is a requirement. You cannot have medicines, antibiotics delivered through Lazada as if it were an ordinary item.  We will file a case against Lazada if it is doing that,” Duque added.

The Department Secretary said if antibiotics would be made easily available on online shops, cases of anti-microbial resistance might soon get out of hand.

In a World Health Organization (WHO) report, seven thousand individuals die every year across the globe due to anti-microbial resistance or AMR.

AMR happens when a certain drug is no longer effective to fight or destroy microbes or parasite inside the human body due to over dosage or unprescribed intake of antibiotics.

For this reason, the DOH reminds the public to religiously follow the doctor’s prescription of a certain anti-biotics to benefit from it.

In line with this issue, the DOH will conduct its own investigation on reports about prescription drugs being sold online.

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Palace on Congress’ failure to pass ROTC bill: ‘Not a problem’

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Malaca؜ñang on Tuesday said it would not mind if the proposal seeking to implement a mandatory Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program in the public and private senior high schools will not be passed at the closing of the 17th Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said they no longer have sufficient time to discuss the said bill and other priority measures that were certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Ang ROTC maiiwan kasi napakarami sa aming priority measures na hinihingi ni Presidente, napaka-controversial. For example, ‘yung ROTC Bill, pito ang nakalista na mag-interpellate at halos pito o walo ang gustong mag-amend,” he said.

Duterte certified the ROTC bill as urgent on Monday (June 3), a day before the session of the 17th Congress adjourned.

“If it lacks time, there is another new Senate coming up so I don’t think that’s a problem,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said at a press briefing.

The 18th Congress will open on July 22 with Duterte allies dominating the majority of the Senate and the House of Representatives. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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