By Macon Araneta i FilAm Star Correspondent

Akbayan Sen. Risa Hontiveros said last December 30, “Let us end the despicable practice of demanding any deposit or other forms of advance payment as a pre-requisite for admission or medical treatment of an emergency patient, particularly a poor person or pregnant woman,” she said.

Hontiveros said the Supreme Court’s ruling clearly demonstrated that the law is faithful to the Constitution and validated the democratic processes that were conducted to craft it.

With the decision, she expressed hope that it settles all the legal challenges that might be raised by a few to undermine the spirit of the law.

“I now ask all stakeholders and relevant sectors to respect and commit to the full implementation of the law,” said the opposition senator.

“Let us welcome the new year with a stronger commitment to provide adequate health care to our citizens, especially those who need it the most,” added Hontiveros, principal sponsor and author of Republic Act No. 10932 otherwise known as “The Strengthened Anti-hospital Deposit Law,”

The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition assailing the constitutionality of the law that increases the penalties for owners of hospitals and clinics and their physicians and personnel who “request, solicit, demand or accept deposits or advance payments as a prerequisite not only for confinement or medical treatment but also for administering basic emergency care.”

Photo: Philippine Supreme Court (commons.wikimedia.org)

In a decision released last week, the high court did not make a definitive declaration on the constitutionality of Republic Act 10932, known as the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 3, 2017.

Nonetheless, the Court ruled that RA 10932 “enjoys the presumption of constitutionality which the Court, at the first instance, cannot disturb in the absence of a prima facie showing of grave abuse of discretion and, upon delving into the merits, in the absence of a clearest showing that there was indeed an infraction of the Constitution.”

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