Commercial medical missions in city penalized

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BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance regulating and penalizing commercial activities conducted in the guise of medical missions and similar undertakings in the city.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Edgar M. Avila stated the proposed local legislative measure provides for immediate regulations in the conduct of commercial activities in the guise of medical missions and similar undertakings in the city.

However, the ordinance shall not cover all medical missions and similar activities conducted for free by duly accredited non-government organizations (NGOs), peoples organizations (POs), religious organizations, media outlets, including but not limited to the Zonta club of Baguio, rotary Club, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, ABS-CBN, GMA 7, TV 5, cooperatives, business corporations, civic organizations and other communications group duly accredited by the local government or entities as their registered line of business, or as part of their social responsibility counterpart or community development activities.

The ordinance shall apply to business organizations, cooperatives, or individuals or entities who in the guise of medical missions shall promote products and services.

Except for those earlier cited, the ordinance stipulated that no non-government organization, peoples organization, religious organization, business corporation, cooperatives or any entity shall conduct any medical mission in the city without securing the required permit as contained in the said measure.

The ordinance will create a Medical Mission Coordinating Committee which will be composed of the City mayor as Chairperson to be co-chaired by the City Health Services Officer who will also serve as its action officer.

Under the proposed ordinance, the committee shall receive and process letters of intent to conduct medical mission from any interested entity; evaluate the capacity of the applicant, the medical services and procedures to be performed, including the intended beneficiaries; issue the necessary permit and endorsement addressed to the punong barangay concerned or deny the application for cause; keep a record of all medical missions conducted in the city and recommend to the local chief executive or the local legislative body measures to improve the conduct of medical missions in the city.

The procedures in securing a medial mission permit or endorsement to conduct medical mission in any of the barangays in the city shall include the letter of intent addressed to the City mayor through the city Health Services office attached the name and address of the company, cooperative or organization, contact persons, contact number and a brief description of the company; applicable certificate of registration, certification of accreditation from the local legislative body, business permit in the case of business entities, date, time and place of the mission, a literature of the activity or project narrative, list of competent personnel who will be providing the medical services and procedures and list of medical apparatus, medicines or materials to be used or prescribed to the beneficiaries.

Violators shall face a maximum fine of P5,000 for their third offense and cancellation of accreditation or non-renewal of permit among others. By Dexter A. See

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