2 million condoms: Sino kikita?
The Department of Health (DOH) is buying two million pieces of condoms for free distribution to consenting couples to prevent unwanted pregnancies and HIV infection.
What a noble gesture on the part of Health Secretary Enrique Ona . He will take away from poor taxpayers P8 million to buy from condom makers who should, in the first place, be the ones to sell and market them to the public.
There is no reason to believe that Ona will make a killing, kickbacks, in local parlance, because he is an honorable man and he will not touch a single centavo in forms of commissions and tongpats.
In the second place, Ona only adopted the program of his health secretary predecessor who, on orders of the United Nations, was tasked to promote at government expense the sale and use of condoms.
Perhaps, a public bidding is in order to arrive at a price quoted by Ona which ranges from P5 to P10 each. But you can never tell if the condoms are fit to use unless they are actually demonstrated before a big audience composed of various genders, specifically the neutral gender.
Don’t think the P8 milion allocation the DOH wants from lawmakers is cheap. Condoms are not reusable, meaning once the supply is depleted, another P8 million is certain to be released again.
Who are the drug companies who would participate in the public bidding? Probably none of them because they might not agree to subject to rigid test the condoms. They might even question complaining witnesses or users as to their proper use and incessant pounding and pounding and pounding.
The P8-million budget for condoms which taxpayers – users or non-users – is only a small part of the P931 million (may butal pa) intended for the purchase of natural and artificial means of family planning.
May kikita kaya riyan? Don’t ask Ona. He will answer in the negative.
Ona said P931 million would go to family health budget, in which P400 million would be spent for family planning. The use of pills, injectibles, condoms, and cycle beads are among those being considered for the government’s family planning program.
“If we are going to authorize this amount in effect the policy is in place which is going to be part of the reproductive health bill which is the contentious issue now,” said Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
According to Ona, the RH bill “is not a population control program” but just to prevent pregnancy.
What a crazy concept.
“We are a democratic country…No coercion,” Ona insisted, but why use taxpayers’ money to enrich the condom makers?
“If you want to use a condom, buy your own. Why let the government pay for it?” Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto asked. Raul Valino