Hospitals as pawnshops

THERE’S really a lot of explaining for House Speaker Sonny Belmonte to do if such claims of a group of independent refillers of liquefied petroleum gas that the House of Representatives has hastily passed on second reading the proposed “LPG Safety Act” even if there’s lack of quorum.

In a newspaper report which quoted the head of the LPG Refillers Association said it’s highly questionable since a majority of House members were not present during last Sept. 9‘s plenary session. A check showed the House secretary general recorded only 73 legislators present after the roll was called and since there are a total of 285 lawmakers, it would mean that at least 144 members must be around to respond to the call to declare the presence of a quorum.

Well, it smells fishy here. Maybe the good Speaker would have better explanation about the matter as certainly he wouldn’t want to be accused to be in the forefront in railroading the proposed measure to favor big oil companies. A provision under the bill calls for the confiscation of old LPG cylinders which would be detrimental to the consumers who would be forced to bear additional costs, according to the group as it insists that the approval on second reading of the proposed legislation was not valid.

Let  me  add,  unless  the bill would provide safety nets or subsidy for the confiscation and impounding of substandard and dilapidated LPG cylinders owned mostly by the marginalized sector there could be nothing wrong otherwise it would definitely be anti-consumer.


No wonder public hospitals have virtually transformed themselves into like pawnshops because they don’t get the much-needed financial support from the “righteous path-driven” administration of PNoy with its bright boy Budget Secretary Florencio Abad leading the pack.

This administration appears to be not dead serious as far as its advocacy for increased social services that supposed to benefit the millions of poor Filipinos is concerned as shown by the slash of the budget of the Department of Health by half or mere P42B.

Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Teddy Casiño is just  right when he asks if such move was the way in investing to the people as he referred to PNoy’s budget message which cited public healthcare as among the government invest-ments in human capital development.

With the measly subsidies, these public hospitals like the Philippine Children Medical Center which reports said it’s been resorting to accepting household items and even cellular phones and yes tricycle registration in exchange for medical services, couldn’t be blamed for increasing fees as they also have to deal with the maintenance costs and the personnel’s salaries.

As usual, the poor would always be poor even under PNoy’s leadership as it has become excellent in saying like this and like that for the underprivileged, just plain words. It’s easier said than done.


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