Baguio Consumer Welfare Month celebration kicks off at People's Park
by Lito Dar
Baguio City (3 October) -- This month of October is Consumer Welfare Month. The best way to kick-off the celebration is by involving the public and this is what the CONSUMERNET, an alliance of government line agencies supporting consumer rights and interests in the region, did.
CONSUMERNET welcomed Consumer Welfare Month through a simple opening program, information/product exhibits and a forum at the People's Park, Thursday - October 1.Mayor Reinaldo Bautista himself graced the event and cut the ribbon for the exhibits.
The Department of Health takes the lead for this year's Consumer Welfare Month celebration, with the theme, "Generic Drugs: Gawang Pinoy! Galing Pinoy! Tangkilikin Natin!", which is anchored on one of the government's key policy, to protect public health and to provide access to affordable and quality drugs and medicine for all.
In the forum after the opening program, panelists which included DOH Regional Director Myrna Cabotaje, Department of Trade and Industry-CAR Director Myrna Pablo, DTI Benguet head Freda Gawisan, National Food Authority-CAR administrator Rolando Rufo, HLURB Director Rebecca Torres, Florencio Pintor of National Meat Inspection Services, Remegio Basilan of Bureau of Food and Drugs and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration-CAR Director Delfina Camarillo, answered consumer-related questions from media practitioners and the public.
Dr Cabotaje explained that they focused on generics drugs to encourage consumers to patronize and buy generic drugs and medicines, as there are now Filipino made, which are cheaper, affordable and with the same quality and efficacy as the branded ones.
"Tangkilikin natin ang gawang Pinoy na generic drugs, para lumago din ang negosyo ng ating mga kababayan na may drug company at para din sa atin, para hindi tayo masyadong mahirapan sa pagbili ng kailangan nating gamut. Sa generic, may mabibili tayong same quality at mas-affordable na gamot," Cabotaje said.
Basilan also stressed that the Generic law, strengthens the government's advocacy on ensuring the availability of quality and affordable drugs and medicines.
"In support of the Generic Law, the government, have already three programs, namely: the P100, wherein one regimen of medicines can be bought at the cost of P100 or below; The Botika ng Barangay, wherein consumers can buy affordable and quality generic drugs; and the Maximum Drug Retail Price, wherein some expensive drugs can now be bought at 50% discount," Basilan said.
"As for compliance of drugstores and hospitals, in Cordillera, we (BFAD) are continuously doing monitoring and so far we have a very good compliance rate," Basilan added.
In the same forum, Pablo also reminded the public that "a well informed and vigilant consumer is the best protected consumers."
Other activities scheduled for the Consumer Welfare Month celebration, include a "Diskwento" sale at selected commercial establishments in Baguio and Benguet, NFA rolling stores coming to some brgy's in the city, speech contest, regional quiz bee and a parade with a Hataw fitness that will be joined by CONSUMERNET member agencies. (PIA) [top]