Preda Deutsch Website

Philippine News Digest 124

August 17, 2007 · 



  • Arroyo pushes anew for cheap medicine bill passage
  • Family driver charged with rape of employer’s daughter
  • More Mattel toys pulled out of local shelves due to hazards

Arroyo pushes anew for cheap medicine bill passage
Last updated 08:57pm (Mla time) 08/16/2007

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pushed anew for the passage in Congress of the cheaper medicines bill as she blamed drug cartel for the exorbitant prices of medicines in the country.

“Please support that bill,” Arroyo also told doctors gathered in Malacañang Thursday from the government-run Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

Arroyo said that while more than 90 percent of all medicines are off-patent and can be locally-manufactured, still 90 percent of medicines sold in the market are the branded ones which are a lot more expensive than generic drugs.

“What’s the explanation? A cartel with 70 percent market share controls the marketing channels thus the typical consumer or the typical patient is unaware that doctors can … prescribe cheaper generics available in the market,” she said.

Arroyo, who urged physicians to prescribe generic drugs to patients, said local pharmaceutical companies have been manufacturing the same high-quality medicines which have prices that are 70 percent lower than the branded medicines.

She said the Philippine International Trading Corp. was making headway in the campaign to reduce the prices of medicines through parallel importation of medicines and selling them in Botika ng Bayan, government hospitals and National Food Authority (NFA) outlets nationwide.

Arroyo has certified the Cheaper Medicines Act as an urgent administration measure but the previous Congress failed to pass it.

During her annual national address in 2001, Arroyo vowed to bring down to half the price of medicines commonly needed by the poor, including medicines for cough and cold, antibiotics, and chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Juliet Labog-Javellana, Inquirer

Family driver charged with rape of employer’s daughter
First posted 00:10:17 (Mla time) August 15, 2007
Jeannette Andrade

MANILA, Philippines – An alleged eight-year obsession with his employer’s daughter drove a family driver to take advantage of the 17-year-old student in Quezon City.

Operatives of the Quezon City Police District Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit arrested Richard Limato, 25, of Tandang Sora, Quezon City after the victim accused him of raping her in an apartelle on Commonwealth Avenue last January.

The girl is now several months pregnant.

Investigators said that Limato, who worked for the victim’s family for several years, had told the victim when she was only 9 years old that he would court her in the future.

Last January, the suspect picked up the victim from school but instead of bringing her home, he took her to the apartelle, police said.

In June, the suspect told his employers that he had to go home to his province because his mother was sick. He never returned.

The victim’s father told investigators that Limato left, apparently because he learned that he had gotten the teenager pregnant.

Earlier this month, Limato started sending text messages to the victim, demanding that she meet him on Aug. 8. He threatened to tell her father that she was pregnant should she fail to show up.

His threat forced the victim to tell her father about her condition. They went to the police which set up an entrapment operation. On Aug. 9, the suspect was arrested in a fastfood restaurant in a mall in Quezon City.

Limato was subsequently charged with rape at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office which recommended no bail for his temporary liberty.

More Mattel toys pulled out of local shelves due to hazards
First posted 07:00:49 (Mla time) August 16, 2007
Ronnel Domingo

MANILA, Philippines — Eighteen different Mattel toys, among them several types of the popular Polly Pocket! and Batman playsets, were pulled off local shelves Wednesday amid an expanded global recall due to lead and magnet hazards.

This was the second time in two weeks that stores like Toys “R” Us and Toy Kingdom removed products of Mattel Inc., one of the biggest toy makers in the world, over reports that the paint used in some toys contained lead above allowable limits. Others were found to contain small, powerful magnets that children might swallow.

The California-based toy giant said in a statement Wednesday that it had voluntarily recalled 19.8 million magnetic toys made from 2002 through Jan. 31, 2007 since November last year. The most recent recall involves some toys manufactured up to Aug. 9 this year.

In the Philippines, the recalled toys include Polly Pocket! playsets made in 2006 or earlier. These include those called Pollyworld Dial A Style; Pollyworld Rockin’ Theme Park; assorted pieces of Pollyworld Rock Theme Park; Pollyworld Dress And Drive Lounge Playset; Totally Beadiful; Pollywood Limo Vehicle; Polly Pocket Sticking To Style; pieces for the Pollyworld Dial A Song; Pollyworld Park Pals; Polly Pocket Twirl N Swirl Beauty; Polly Pocket! Quick Click Playset; Mermaid Stars Playset; Quick Click House of Style; Polly Pocket! Quick Click Penthouse; and Polly Pocket Quick Click Boutique.

Also recalled were the The Batman Magnet Lok System playset as well as Magna Battle Armor, Batman and Fight Wing Batman playsets made from June 11, 2006 to Aug. 9, 2007.

Sarge toys (an army jeep) from the “Cars” die-cast vehicle line made between March 2007 and July 2007 were also recalled.

Particularly for Philippine vendors, Mattel ordered the pullout of the two-and-a-half-inch Sarge toys that were manufactured from Jan. 1 to July 27 this year.

Mattel advised buyers to immediately take the recalled products away from children and contact the company to arrange return and choose a replacement toy of equivalent value.

Rosabel Tejam, assistant vice president of the Philippine franchise of Toys “R” Us, said Mattel’s Hong Kong office issued the recall Tuesday night and the products were off the local shelves when stores opened Wednesday.

Jim Walter, Mattel’s senior vice president for worldwide quality assurance, said the expanded recall “is not due to reports of injuries but rather increased reports of loose magnets and Mattel’s new and more rigorous standards for magnet retention.” -End –


Copyright © 2018 · Preda Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved