my journals

Monday, September 23, 2013

Special favor

A lot of our brothers and sisters, Christian and Muslims alike, will probably die in Zamboanga City not because they will be hit by targeted or stray bullets, killer explosives, as well as other harbingers of death in an armed conflict such as what is happening now in that place.

The most likely cause will be disease, infections, and lack of treatment, medical supplies and access to attending health professionals and specialists.

If there are cases in large numbers like this in Zamboanga, so it is in other parts of the country. The culprit is the unavailable medical attention and supplies. A great number of NGOs, pseudo-contractors have made enormous amounts of money from medicine supplies to local governments from the barangay, municipal, city, province and region levels. Many of these contractors became instant multi-millionaires, have made many bureaucrats or elected officials well-nourished or some, really filthy rich.

If an audit is made of the number of medical supply single proprietor enterprises and corporations (both profit and non-profit or NGOs), the total registered number will be mind-boggling. This is to be expected since the pharmaceutical industry has a yearly turn-over of tens to hundreds of billions of pesos. A large chunk of the total industry income is attributed to contracts with the public sector, although with public sector supply contracts, only a measly volume of medicines are traded. Much of the income, becomes illegal skim for personal gains.

With the exception of truly lucky medicine suppliers, a good number of these contractors suffered serious illness, figured in very, very bad accidents that nearly cost them their lives. My neighbor says that the suffering of contractors is due to bad, bad karma. Enriching themselves at the expense of the welfare and the lives of our people who are supposed to benefit from the medicines.

Perhaps my neighbor is correct. Contracts for medicines, medical supplies to local governments all over the country is an absolutely dirty business. It is so, so dirty that the public officials are killed by contractors or contractors are killed by public officials when the loot is so great and the temptation to take the lion's share or all of it is extremely irresistible.

To minimize the deaths and other complicated afflictions arising from unavailable medical supplies that should have been there in the first place, it is in order that special instructions be passed from the office of President Aquino and a stern law be crafted by Congress to the effect that the procurement and delivery of needed medical supplies from the urban centers to the farthest barangays of the country is guaranteed from day one of the passage of the General Appropriations Act.

Under the instructions or new legislation, no persons or parties may therefore be allowed to monopolize the contract to supply large quantities of medicine if the party is not a manufacturer of good repute.

Together with these new regulations, a comprehensive audit of the Department of Health from the main office to the lowest health units should be undertaken.

A sizeable part of the missing pork barrel money, among other fund sources, have been lost to ghost medicine supply contracts; or hyper-valued payments of inadequately documents delivery of medicines.

If the incumbent administration will not come up with an enabling document in this regard, then the admin itself may be considered to be among the biggest future recipients of the whiplash of negative karmic debt. No one can stop karma from chopping heads, arms and legs or claiming the innards of the corrupt private sector and government functionaries; it has been happening in the past and will sustain its momentum. So then, good riddance.

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