MANILA—After his thought-provoking “Balik sa Probinsya Program,” Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” T. Go sends fillers of his support to the long-standing quest of senior citizens for discounted vitamins and food supplements in their maintenance medicines.
This was barred Monday by election lawyer and former senate contender Atty. Romulo Macalintal, also a senior citizen, during a live radio-TV interview monitored by Sandigan News and Banat Pilipinas News, when he was asked about the status of their appeal to include vitamins and food supplements in the discounted list of medicines. Many senior citizens need vitamins and supplement to enhance their recovery from illness.
Atty. Macalintal said he was elated that Senator Bong Go called him to express his support to the appeal of some 9.5 million senior citizens in the country for additional discount of their medicines. “Nagagalak talaga ako na tumawag sa akin ang senador at sinabi niya na tutulong siya na makiusap kay Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III tungkol dito,” Macalintal said.
Right now, only prescribed therapeutic medicines of senior citizens are discounted. “Mahigit 10 taon na ang Republic Act (R.A.) 9994 o ang Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 ngunit hindi pa rin kasali ang vitamins at food supplements na kinakailangan ng mga senior citizens upang maging masigla at gumaling sa kanilang karamdaman kahit na kasama ito sa Implementing Rules and Regulation ng nasabing batas,” he further said.
Atty. Macalintal was referring to Rule III, Article 5.1 of the Definition of Terms in the Implementing Rules and Regulation of R.A. 9994, which says, “Medicines – refer to prescription and non-prescription/over-the-counter drugs, both generic and branded, including VITAMINS and MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS medically prescribed by the elderly’s physician and approved by the DOH and the Food and Drugs Administration, which are intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of human disease or sickness. It does not include food, devices or their components, parts, or accessories.”
Atty. Macalintal and millions of other senior citizens in the country are set to benefit from this additional perk once this provision of the law is implemented through the intervention of Sen. Bong Go.