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DoH issues IRR for Anti-Hospital Deposit Law

THE IMPLEMENTING rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Act No. 10932, or the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law, has been released on April 4 and published today, April 8, by the Department of Health (DoH). RA 10932, which was signed into law in August 2017, increases the penalties for the refusal of hospitals and clinics to administer appropriate medical treatment in emergency or serious cases. The law provides that “in emergency or serious cases, it shall be unlawful for any hospital or medical clinic to request, solicit, demand or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment as prerequisite for administering basic emergency care, for confinement or medical treatment, or to refuse to administer medical treatment and support to any patient.” Violators face a punishment of imprisonment of not less than six months and one day, or a fine of not less than P100,000.00, or both. High-ranking officials of medical institutions could be slapped with higher penalties of imprisonment of four to six years, or a fine of not less than P500,000.00, or both. Complaints related to the law should be initially filed before the Health Facilities Oversight Board under the DoH’s Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau.

Senator Leila De Lima speaks during a womens forum at Miriam College in Quezon city last Octoebr 14, 2016. Michael Varcas / Philippine Star

De Lima accuses Duterte supporters of spreading fake news about her family

DETAINED SENATOR Leila M. de Lima said on Sunday, April 8, her family members, including her son and sister, were victims of fake news that were made viral on social media by the supporters of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

“My sister was reported to have been arrested in Beijing for drug trafficking. Her friends called her about that. When that fake news came out, my sister happened to be at the hospital, watching over my sick mother,” Ms. de Lima said in a statement.

She added: “Another fake news targeted my youngest son, Vincent, who was reported to have been arrested at an airport in Berlin, for possession of drugs. My son has never set foot in another country.”

According to Ms. de Lima, a known critic of Mr. Duterte, the fake news articles about her sister and son “both circulated in social media in December 2016 and were mostly shared and re-shared by pro-Duterte pages and websites to various social media platforms, including Facebook and Youtube.”

The opposition senator, who is detained on drug trade-related charges, also lamented how some fake news have “corrupted the public’s mind.”

“Absurd and incredible these fake news are, the sad reality is some people tend to be fooled into believing them,” the lawmaker said.

Ms. de Lima recalled instances where her critics peddled several false news articles against her.

“I remember there were relatives and friends who frantically contacted me or my family to check on my well-being when it was reported that I had committed suicide, or was suffering from one ailment or another,” she narrated.

Also on Sunday, Malacañang welcomed Ms. de Lima’s “appreciation” of the President’s appointment of Oscar D. Albayalde as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Menardo I. Guevarra as secretary   of the Department of Justice (DoJ).

“[Ms.] de Lima should be thankful of the act of the President. We take De Lima’s comment as an appreciation of the act of the President,” Presidential Spokesperson Herminio Harry L. Roque, Jr. said in a press briefing in Tanauan, Leyte.

In a statement last Saturday, April 7, Ms. de Lima said: “Much as I doubt the sincerity of the reasons why President Duterte let go of Secretary Aguirre, the new appointments made by him are as good as they can get under this administration.”

“Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra to the DOJ, Director Oscar Albayalde to the PNP, and Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez to the AFP are good choices. They are all men of honor, competence, and integrity,” she said. — Arjay L. Balinbin