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DSWD admits lack of capability, mandate to stop illicit organ sale

October 20, 2008 8:31am

MANILA, Philippines - Despite its tough talk against illicit practice of kidney and other organ transplants, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Monday admitted it has no capability to monitor hospitals where such operations are held.

In a radio interview, Social Welfare Sec. Esperanza Cabral also said it is not her department's mandate to keep watch over such hospitals, after noting many such operations take place in Metro Manila.

"Hindi po namin mandato bantayin yan. Pero pag meron kaming nabalitaan, tinatawag namin ang pansin nila at pinapaexplain bakit nila ginagawa ito. Alam nilang labag sa batas (It is not our mandate to monitor the hospitals. What we can only do is to call the attention of hospitals that allowed the operations, after they had taken place. What we can do is question them why they allowed such operations even if they know it's against the law)," Cabral said in an interview on dzXL radio.

Last week, Cabral likened the sale of organs to prostitution, and called for tougher action against brokers and doctors who engage in the transplant of kidneys and other organs.

On the other hand, she appealed to those thinking of selling their organs not to do it, saying they pay a steep price for a P100,000 to P150,000 payment that will run out in two months.

In contrast, she said the brokers and doctors engaged in the racket earn millions from each "transaction."

"Kasing hirap sila ng dati, hindi lang yan, karamihan sa mga yan sinasabing naghihina sila, di na makapagtrabaho (The donors end up poor as before. Worse, most of them feel weak and can no longer be strong enough to work)," Cabral said. - GMANews.TV
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