Like the senior citizens, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) can now avail of the 20% discount to purchase medicines. Drugstores in the Philippines led by the giant chain, Mercury Drugstores finally agreed on implementing the provisions of Republic Act 9442 or the act amending RA 7277 (Magna Carta for Disabled Person) which provides, among others, with prescriptions to be used by PWDs. The law also states that the same discount must be given by hospitals and transportation needs of PWDs.
On October 4, 2010 the PWDs staged a rally and marched to the Commission on Human Rights seeking for help and support of the government agency in the implementation of RA9442 law which was stubbornly defied by most of the drugstores in the Philippines. Commissioner Eta Rosales vowed full support and action for the sector’s request. During that time, only the Watson’s chain of drugstores provides 20% discount to medicine purchases by PWDs. Several meetings were initiated by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA). These events prompted Hon. Arturo Robes, the chairman of the Social Services Committee at the House of Representatives to file House Resolution No. 221 to solve the impasse. The sponsor of RA9442 is Hon. Walden F. Bello of AKBAYAN PARTYLIST who diligently monitors the development.
“It is a very timely decision for the Mercury Drugstore company to finally implement the law. Now, the sector, composed mainly of marginalized citizens, shall enjoy the full benefit of the law”, Emer Rojas, the president of New Vois Association said. Rojas is a member of the League of Leaders of PWD (LLPWD), a 16-man think-tank group of PWD leaders overseeing the Development Council (QCDC) and takes care of the general welfare of PWDs in the city under the chairmanship of Mayor Herbert Bautista.
“We are on the verge of filing a class suit against these erring drugstore companies if they still defy the implementation of the law. It could have been a long battle and we are glad Mercury Drug has finally decided to do what is right. This is one event that clearly shows that the law still prevails in the Philippines and the government cares for its people,” Rojas added.
Mr. Emer Rojas is also the Board Secretary of House with No Steps Inc. (Tahanang Walang Hagdan); the Sectoral Representative of the Quezon City Development Council and a member of the League of Leaders of Persons with Disabilities (LLPWD).