By: Clovis Jones Louis Sabornido
Last week, I had a chance to have a short talk with 1SAPPP’s friend, Congressman Barry Gutierrez, AKBAYAN representative, who dropped by the office in Digos City after attending a turn over ceremony of a project in the nearby municipality.
With us were 1ASAPPP National President Edel S. Roderos and the multi-awarded and a great inventor of this country, Dok Edgar L. Delibo of Dok Alternatibo. In the course of the discussion, Congressman Barry made mentioned of their effort for a universal health care program specifically on the emphasis of and equal access for traditional and alternative medicine with that of the conventional medicine, which effort, is very much consistent with our advocacy and crusade for the integration of traditional and alternative medicine in the mainstream health care system of the country.
Such a great effort. The movement (1ASAPPP) and the association (Dok Alternatibo Healing Ministry Association) expressed its joy for the overwhelming support of our coadvocates, AKBAYAN and some lawmakers. In effect, though, the initiative of Congressman Barry along with his colleagues, will push for amendments and complementation of 2 existing laws (the Medical Act of 1959 and TAMA LAW of 1997.)
When I browsed over Administrative Order No. 2010-0036 dated December 16, 2010 “The Aquino Agenda: Achieving Universal Health Care for All Filipinos,” I was impressed of the political will displayed in the order for a health system for Filipinos. Another Administrative Order No. 2011-0188 was issued, the Universal Health Care (UHC) or the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP), which acts for the “provision to every Filipino of the highest possible quality of healthcare that is accessible, efficient, equitably distributed, adequately funded, fairly financed, and appropriately used by an informed and empowered public.”
The Aquino administration puts it as the availability and accessibility of health services and necessities for all Filipinos. But I was quiet upset that the order promoted only conventional way of treatment. In other words, you can never run through a word in those administrative orders that speaks of how well the traditional and alternative medicine should be for Filipinos. Second class citizens?
I am anticipating that this will be an uphill battle. The alternative medicine community in this country is a clear underdog over the medical society. As challenger at that, the alternative medicine practitioners should unite and stand still for this fight. With due respect, the Aquino administration is on its right directions setting good image without jeopardy to the TRUTH and FAIRNESS.
Traditional and Alternative Medicine is Filipino Medicine. I will not stop shouting over the spreadsheet, the radio, TV, even on streets and in Prayers along with my co-advocates so that this CAUSE will be heard.