Health officials urged to walk straight path

To preserve the good image of Aquino administration, the Department of Health should insist giving to a losing bidder the exclusive contract for the information technology system for all Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFWs) clinics.

In a circular to all DoH-accredited OFW clinics, Health Director Nicolas B. Lutero III endorsed FROSOF (Free Logic and Filipino Doctors), an IT company, as a sole provider of IT system for Association of Medical Clinics for Overseas Workers Inc (AMCAO).

Director Lutero said FROSOFT was the choice of holdover AMCOW board headed by Dr. Rolando J. Villote.

But what Director Lutero has failed to divulge was on Aug. 2, 2010 in a general meeting of AMCOW members, majority of them had rejected the recommendation of the board to grant FROSOFT sole IT Provider contract.

During the balloting held to select among the five IT providers, only FROSOFT got zero vote; Filipino Doctors Inc, got 21 votes; Free Logic got 31 votes; MRIAS got 11 votes; and, BAGDOBIZ, seven votes; Free Logic got 31 votes; and Baddovi, 7 votes.

Of the five IT providers who participated in the selection only FROSOFT has insufficient information materials (no profile) and who is a non-web based IT providers with expensive costing and assistance promised up to 10 p.m. only.

In view of this development, DOH-accredited medical and healthcare providers for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) face possible administrative sanction unless they sign a contract  with FROSOFT, an Information Technology provider chosen by the Department of Health to process psychological test results of Filipino overseas job applicants.

Association of Medical Clinics for Overseas Workers ( AMCOW) with some 140 members are up in arms against DOH Circular number 1 dated Oct. 14, 2010, stating that effective Nov. 2, 2010 FROSOFT shall be the sole provider for the information technology system for all OFW clinics.

Director Lutero  has warned that, failure of medical clinics to comply with his circular could mean suspension or withdrawal of their government accreditation pursuant to Section V.B.3 of Administrative Order 2010-0022.

Administrative Order 2010-0022 which issued  by then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, directs the Department of Health,  Department of  Labor and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to set policies in the conduct of psychological examinations for overseas job applicants.

The issuance by Arroyo of AO was prompted by the alarming number of OFWs who have been suffering from psychological disorders resulting to their repatration.

Honestly, there are two important things that we can’t understand about this controversy, namely —
1)    Has the DOH the power under the law to compel a private person or entity to enter into, a certain contract with another party without its free consent? Is it  not one element of a valid contract is consent freely given by contracting parties?
2)    Why is DOH  so in a hurry to consummate the contract of its handpicked IT provider with some 140 OFW clinics? What is it in the contract the DOH is so interested?

Recall that for years we had no sole IT provider for OFW clinics and yet we have sent millions of workers aboard to work. Could it be that some OFWs had contracted their psychological disorders not here in the Philippines before they left for abroad but in the working place or in the country of their destination. If that is so, what is that psychological examinations for?

With due respect, we are just thinking aloud in search for the right answers.

PNoy expected counter destabilization plot of S4

We are afraid the traditional political opposition and another itself the anti-Aquino group. Which calls solidarity for Sovereignty (S4) will turn into green-eyed monster after learning that the world Bank (WB) will double its aid to the Philippines next year.

Recall the S4 reportedly composed of former opponent and allies of ex-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo claimed recently that the 343 million grand from the U.S came with strings attached.

S4 also said the May 10 elections which brought President Aquino to power was allegedly unconstitutional because it was administered by a foreign corporation the Smartmatic TIM. It did not say, however that Mr. Aquino had cheated in the May 2010 elections like what its principal allegedly did in 2004 polls.

News reports have it that the Philippines initiatives on good governance have prompted the WB to double its assistance to the country starting next year.

From its overall assistance of 650 million this year, the WB is increasing its aid starting next year to $1.3 billion up to $1.5 billion, according to WB Country Director Bert Hofman.

The WB is also increasing funding support for the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program for the poorest of the poor.

The aid increase was approved last week at the annual meeting in Washington of the WB and International Monetary Fund (IMF). With Philippine economic team.

The S4 in a resent full page advertisement in a morning daily denounced of the alleged unconstitutionality of the May 10.2010 presidential elections.

Hofman said “initiatives of the Aquino government to promote transparency in government, including a new budgetary system are very important to US’’.

Aquino’s political foes start to gather strength against government expect different anti-Aquino groups to join forces in destabilizing the present administration and in stepping in through either legal or extra legal means.

We believe the President is now studying different ways of countering it by
1) keeping his trust rating or public acceptance high, and  2) by intensifying his initiatives on good government, particularly transparency in all government transactions. If  Mr. Aquino has this two moves, his political opponents will think twice before grabbing power from him.

We suppose the President had already read the 3,000 or so books his late father former senator Benigno Aquino left him in the Aquino private library at 25th Times Street in Quezon City. The books mostly about economics, politic, classics, diplomacy, biographies, best sellers and our favourites: books on the art of war and techniques of persuasion.

We saw in that library copies of Chinese Machiavelli, writings of Mao Tse Tung and the Prince, written by Nicole Machiavelli, the most maligned and misunderstood person in history. Machiavelli’s treatise in leadership was practical, not idealistic. For the President it’s time to read them again.


Sen. Manuel “Lito”Lapid has demonstrated again his extraordinary ability to use common sense in making laws.

After getting praises for filing a bill seeking a stop to overloading of school bags, the senator from Pampanga came to the rescue of elderly and impoverished members of society who were abandoned by their ungrateful children.

Lapid filed a bill titled ‘’Maintenance of Parents Act of 2010 which will allow abandoned parents to sue their children for financial support. The former action star turned politician has penchant for filling bills that carry with them practical solutions, to everyday problems that only simple minded people could think of.

While we are about to file this Column for publication, another interesting proposed law was introduced by Lapid in the senate titled ‘’School Nutrition and Balanced Diet Act of 2010

In his proposed measure, Senate Bill No.2517, Lapid wants to ban junk food in schools through a set of standards to be crafted by the Department of Science and Technology‘s Food and Research Institute to be followed by all food providers in schools,

The senator said that food often served in schools—chips, hotdogs, burgers, pizzas, fries, and sodas. “ do not only fail to provide children with proper nutrients but have been the primal sources of diet-related diseases”.

By his performance as senator, Lapid has proven that one does not have to be and M.A. or Doctorate degrees holders or even lawyers to be a good lawmaker. Commonsense would suffice. Cornelio R. De Guzman

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