Thursday, June 30, 2011

Health and human rights in the Philippines ( Pod Cast )

Artist: People's Health Radio
Title: Health and Justice in the Philippines
Album: People's Health Radio
Genre: Health News
Length: 59:07 minutes (54.12 MB)
Format: Stereo 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Show Notes:

What's the state of health and human rights in the Philippines today?

We revisit the story of the Morong 43, a group of 43 community health workers detained by the Philippine government from February to December of 2010. What have been the impacts of the detainment and ongoing military harassment on the health workers, their families and communities?


Interview with Aiyanas Ormond -- People's Health Radio co-host and local organizer who is currently in the Philippines with his partner and children on a solidarity mission. More information about their trip can be found at

Interview with Merry Mia-Clamor, one of the 43 health workers detained by the Philppine government.

And audio from a talk in Vancouver by Dr. Julie Caguiat, spokesperson of the Free the 43 Health Workers! Alliance.

Music by Victor Noriega, Aki Merced/Renato Reyes/Karl Ramirez, Amadou, James Caraang (Feat. Margie Banda and Sol Diana), Black Uhuru.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011


We, the undersigned political prisoners detained in Central Visayas, will be holding another one-week fasting on June 20-26, 2011 to press the Noynoy Aquino Government to finally act on our demands, to wit :
  1. Immediately effect the freedom of Alan Jasmines, Tirso Alcantara and thirteen other National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Consultants and JASIG-protected persons, as well as four more detainees ‘involved in the peace process’, who were mentioned and referred to in the February 21, 2011 Joint Statement of the Negotiating Panels of both the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP); and
  2. Jumpstart the process of releasing the 320 other political prisoners in the country through the grant of a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty, as their freedom forms part of the confidence-building measures that enhance the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations, and which release has become an obligation of the Noynoy Aquino Government when it signed the February 21, 2011 Oslo Joint Statement.
We are launching this one-week fasting at a time when the second round of the GPH-NDFP Peace Talks is supposed to be held, in the hope that President Noynoy Aquino sincerely wants to advance the cause of a just peace through the negotiating table.


(Danao City Jail, Danao City, Cebu)

(Danao City Jail, Danao City, Cebu)

(Bohol District Jail, Tagbilaran City, Bohol,)

(Dumaguete City Jail, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental)

(Dumaguete City Jail, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Three years of Cheaper Medicine Law has not made drugs affordable

Three years after the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008 (Republic Act 9502) was signed, essential drugs are still neither assessable nor affordable to ordinary Filipinos.

Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) today criticized the Aquino administration for perpetuating “an anemic implementation of an already watered-down law”. Citing a 2009 study by Health Action Information Network on medicine prices and availability in the Philippines, “standard treatments with these (brand-name drugs) require several days’ up to a weeks’ worth of wages”, said Dr. Geneve E. Rivera, secretary-general of Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD).

According to the same study, “generic medicines in private facilities may be unaffordable too, requiring several days’ wages to purchase.” “Treatment courses using generic medicines in public facilities are generally affordable based on the salary of the lowest paid government worker. However, many Filipinos earn less than this wage and that managing an illness entails other costs that may eventually render even the lowest-cost treatments unaffordable.”

HEAD believes that the Aquino government has not done enough to regulate the practices of multinational drug companies. These companies have had their way in dictating drug prices, which are often three-to-four times more than prices in other countries.

“How can the Cheaper Medicine Law have any real impact when the monopoly of big transnational pharmaceutical in the drug industry continues?” said Dr. Rivera. The health group also believes that essential steps in establishing a national, a truly Filipino drug industry must be undertaken.

“While the immediate goal is to put an end to the monopoly pricing that has kept our people captive for decades, the more long-term goal is to institutionalize fundamental changes in the entire drug industry because this is the only way to ensure affordable and accessible medicine.” added Dr. Rivera. ###