Urgent Manifestation and Motion of the Drugstores Association of the Philippines, Inc., et al. for TRO and/or writ of preliminary injuction on the 20% medicine discount of PWDs

March 19, 2010

Republic of the Philippines
COURT OF APPEALS
Manila

SPECIAL FITEENTH (15TH ) DIVISION

C.A. G.R.-S.P. No. 109903

DRUGSTORES ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPINES, INC., SAVE MORE DRUG, INC., PHILIPPINES, INC., SAVE MORE DRUG, INC., MANSON DRUG CORPORATION, SOUTH STAR DRUG, INC., AND NORTHERN LUZON DRUG CORPORATION
Petitioners

Versus

NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE, BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE, DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, and DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT,
Respondents

x- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – x

URGENT MANIFESTATION AND MOTION

Petitioners, by undersigned counsel and unto this Honorable Court, respectfully state:

1. Last 2 February 2010, the municipal government of Taytay called petitioners to a conference to discuss the 20% medicines discount for persons with disability (“PWD”) provided under Section 32 of RA 7277 as amended by RA 9442.

2. At said conference, the municipal government of Taytay demanded that petitioners grant the 20% discount on purchase of medicines to all persons who present proof of their disability. It threatened to revoke the mayor’s and/or business permit of petitioners if the fail to comply with its demand.

3. Last 11 February 2010, petitioners were also called to a meeting with the city government of Makati, who likewise demanded that petitioners grant the 20% medicines discount, with the accompanying threat that their mayor’s and/or business permit will be revoked or not renewed for non-compliance with the demand.

4. Petitioners have also received information that another drug store, who is similarly situated as petitioners, has received the same demand and threat from the city legal officer of Pasig City.

5. The evident intention of local governments is to disregard and/or render moot the pending action and pre-empt this Honorable Court By even imposing a sanction that is not found in RA 7277, RA 9442 and their implementing regulations.

6. RA 7277 as amended by RA 9442 provides that medicines discount must be granted if the person claiming the discounts presents any of the following proofs of entitlement:

“The abovementioned privileges are available only to persons with disability who are Filipino citizens upon submission of any of the following as proof of his/her entitlement thereto:

(I) An identification card issued by the city or municipal mayor or the barangay captain of the place where the persons with disability resides.

(II) The passport of the persons with disability concerned; or

(III) Transportation discount fare Identification Card (ID) issued by the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP).

7. In the instant Petition, petitioners precisely contend that RA 7277, RA 9442 and their implementing regulations fail to provide adequate safeguards to ensure that medicines discount shall only be granted to persons with actual disabilities.

7.1 The definitions of the types of disability are vague, ambiguous and clearly require specialized medical knowledge in order to determine the existence of disability. And yet, the implementing regulations allow even non-medically trained personnel to confirm the disability. As a result, persons who do not have any expertise or experience in determining disability have the authority to issue identification cards, whether or not the applicant is truly a person with disability.

7.2 Also a mere passport, while capable of indicating citizenship, will not reveal whether or not the bearer has a disability. But because RA 7277 and its implementing regulations impose no further requirement, any person who presents a passport and claims to be disabled can demand for the medicines discount.

7.3 The assailed laws and regulations further fail to provide any mechanism by which the petitioners can question a determination that a person is disabled. Thus, once the identification card is issued, petitioners have no means of legal process to dispute the same.

8. With the illegal threats of the local governments, petitioners are being compelled to grant the medicines discount even if the assailed laws and regulations are patently unreasonable and arbitrary, under the pain of losing their business permits and the prospect of closing their businesses. That the threats against petitioners were done just a few months away from the national and local elections puts serious doubt on the motive of the local governments.

9. It is respectfully submitted that petitioners stand to suffer serious and irreparable injury because their rights will be violated and their property diminished, unless the respondents are enjoined from implementing the said discount.

10. Since the grant of discount on a daily basis for every single purchase by those who claim to be PWD may eventually force their closure to their irreparable damage and prejudice. There is an extreme urgency to immediately issue temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injuction.

11. Petitioners will also suffer grave injustice, because should the Petition be eventually granted by this Honorable Court, petitioners will have no means to recover any medicine discounts that have already given.

12. Thus, petitioners’ application for a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction should be granted immediately in order to restrain the enforcement of the assailed laws and regulations.

13. Petitioners reiterate that they are ready, willing and able to post a bond in the amount specified by this Honorable Court, to answer for any damages suffered by the respondents as a result of the temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction, if it should be finally adjudged that petitioners were not entitled thereto.

14. Moreover, under the circumstances, the immediate resolution of the Petition is urgently necessary in order to prevent the nationwide implementation of the assailed laws and regulations that are clearly unconstitutional.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that this Honorable Court resolve petitioners’ application for a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injuction as well as the petition for Prohibition.

Petitioners pray for such other just and equitable relief under the premises.

Makati City for Manila, 4 March 2010

ROMULO MABANTA BUENAVENTURA SAYOC & DE LOS ANGELES
Counsel for Petitioners3
30th Floor, Citibank Tower
8741 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City
Telephone No. (02) 848-0114
Fax No. (02) 810-3110
romulo@romulo.com

By

ORIGINAL SIGNED
EDUARDO DE LOS ANGELES
Roll No. 21373
IBP No. 800053/01-04-2010/Makati City
PTR No. 2094592/01-08-2010/Makati City
MCLE Compliance No. 0003176/06-30-2008

ORIGINAL SIGNED
PRISCILLA B. VALER
Roll No. 38409
IBP Life Member No. 745059, 03/13/08, Pasig City
PTR No. 2097793, 01/08/10, Makati City
MCLE Compliance No. II – 0002377, 07/20/07

ORIGINAL SIGNED
JAZMIN B. BANAL
Roll No. 43512
IBP No. 800055, 01/04/10, Quezon City
PTR No. 2094597,

ORIGINAL SIGNED
JOSE C. SALVOSA
Roll No. 52751
IBP No. 800085, 01/04/10, Quezon City
PTR No. 2097780, 01/08/10, Makati City
MCLE Compliance No. II-0002465, 11/04/08

COPY FURNISHED:

Office of the Solicitor General
134 Amorsolo Street
Legaspi Village
Makati City

National Council on Disability Affairs
NCDA Building
Isidora St., Brgy. Holy Spirit
Diliman, Quezon City

Department of Finance
DOF Building
Roxas Boulevard corner Pablo Ocampo Street Manila

Bureau of Internal Revenue
BIR National Office Building
Agham Road, Diliman
Quezon City

Department of Interior and Local Government
A. Francisco Gold Condominium II
EDSA corner Mapagmahal Street, Diliman
Quezon City

Department of Social Welfare and Development
Batasan Pambansa Complex
Constitution Hills
Quezon City

EXPLANATION

Due to the distance between the respective offices of the parties, time constraints, and the lack of messengers to effect personal service on account of equally urgent filings, copies of this pleading were served upon Respondents and their counsel by registered mail.

JOSE C. SALVOSA

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One Response to “Urgent Manifestation and Motion of the Drugstores Association of the Philippines, Inc., et al. for TRO and/or writ of preliminary injuction on the 20% medicine discount of PWDs”

  1. philip michael jose on April 6th, 2010 7:24 am

    it seems the drug stores are a step ahead of the government on this. may i suggest that disabled persons submit an abstract of their condition of disability prepared by their attending physician to the CITY HEALTH OFFICER WHERE THEY RESIDE as the first step in securing a PWD identification card.

    this is where we can eliminate the fake PWDs from those truly deserving and in need of the priveleges granted under RA 9442.

    an amendment to the law can be made at the next session of congress but in the meantime, the drug stores can be made to understand that an abstract of the condition of the PWD should suffice together with a physical examination by the CITY HEALTH OFFICER where the PWD resides or where he will get his ID.

    if there is reason to doubt the authenticity of a person claiming to be a PWD, the person should be referred to the DOH where the certification can be issued after due examination of the PWD by DOH physicians.

    this could be a compromise for the meantime that we are awaiting an amendment to the RA 9442 and its IRR.

    [Reply to this comment]

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