Sunday, March 29, 2009

Extending Earth Hour

Turning off our lights for Earth Hour last night is obviously not enough in the fight against climate change.

In further support of the fight against climate change, below are links to green living tips from the pages of WWF (World Wildlife Fund) – the driving force behind Earth Hour – and Greenpeace – another compelling environment protector.

Reduce your environmental footprint

Take action at home
You can help to switch off global warming and start today - by using clean energy and cutting down on wasted energy.

10 good ideas for a start:
1. Switch to renewable energy …
2. Buy energy efficient appliances …
3. Fluorescent lamps are cheaper in the long run …
4. Avoid stand-by and turn off lights …
5. Wash economically …
6. About your fridge …
7. Getting around and on your way to work and school …
8. About your car …
9. Reduce your air travel …
10. Enjoy the sun! :-)
Read More

Join the energy revolution - Greenpeace

Three things you can do to make every day Earth Day:

1. Try a green spring clean…
2. Cut out bottled water …
3. Reduce (or give up) meat. Reduce (or give up) driving …
Read More

Greenpeace's top three ways to green your work life - Part I
1. Say goodbye to bottled water …
2. Go waste-free …
3. Get there green …
Read More

Greenpeace's top three ways to green your work life - Part II

1. Get ancient forests out of your paper ...
2. Green your office equipment ...
3. Eat and drink responsibly ...
Read More

Greenpeace's top tips for a greener bedroom
1. Choose reclaimed wood ...
2. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, which can suck up dust and toxins ...
3. Choose compact fluorescent light bulbs ...
Read More

Greenpeace's top three tips for a green bathroom
1. Limit toxics ...
2. Save water ...
3. Choose ancient forest friendly tissue products ...
Read More

Greenpeace's two tips for a green kitchen
1. Cut down greenhouse gas emissions …
2. Cut down toxics …
Avoid these three plastics …
Read More


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

EARTH HOUR: 8:30PM local time, wherever you live on planet earth, Saturday 28 March 2009.

Vote Earth Hour (against climate change) by turning off your lights for 1 hour at 8:30pm on Saturday March 28, 2009.

To learn more, visit Earth Hour.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Legal Servitude (Mandatory Legal Service)

By Obiter07

The Supreme Court has recently published its rules (the “Rules) on mandatory legal aid service for practicing lawyers (Bar Matter No. 2012 dated February 10, 2009). While the implementing rules are yet to be issued, just a reading of this issuance opens up a pandora’s box of difficulties.

The purpose is ostensibly laudable as it “seeks to enhance the duty of lawyers to society as agents of social change and to the courts as officers thereof by helping improve access to justice by the less privileged members of society and expedite the resolution of cases involving them. Mandatory free legal service by members of the bar and their active support thereof will aid the efficient and effective administration of justice especially in cases involving indigent and pauper litigants.”


Sounds good so far. The rules cover practicing lawyers or those “who appear for and in behalf of parties in courts of law and quasi-judicial agencies, including but not limited to the National Labor Relations Commission, National Conciliation and Mediation Board, Department of Labor and Employment Regional Offices, Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board and National Commission for Indigenous Peoples.”

Excluded are “(i) Government employees and incumbent elective officials not allowed by law to practice; (ii) Lawyers who by law are not allowed to appear in court; (iii) Supervising lawyers of students enrolled in law student practice in duly accredited legal clinics of law schools and lawyers of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and peoples organizations (POs) like the Free Legal Assistance Group who by the nature of their work already render free legal aid to indigent and pauper litigants and (iv) Lawyers not covered under subparagraphs (i) to (iii) including those who are employed in the private sector but do not appear for and in behalf of parties in courts of law and quasi-judicial agencies.” The last item would very likely include in-house lawyers.

However, we have to wait for the implementing rules to see how “parties” will be defined. Even in-house counsel appear for parties on certain occasions, not necessarily for the company where they are employed. Will such rare forays into litigation make them fall under the unenviable classification of “practicing lawyers?”

Required Hours of Free Legal Aid

What does a lawyer have to do under the Rules? A practicing lawyer “is required to render a minimum of sixty (60) hours of free legal aid services to indigent litigants in a year. Said 60 hours shall be spread within a period of twelve (12) months, with a minimum of five (5) hours of free legal aid services each month. However, where it is necessary for the practicing lawyer to render legal aid service for more than five (5) hours in one month, the excess hours may be credited to the said lawyer for the succeeding periods.”

Trial Preparation not counted

How will this be accomplished? Only the hours actually spent during the hearing is counted which is to be certified by the Clerk of Court. It doesn’t matter where the hearing is or how far the venue may be, only the “actual time spent” at a hearing is measured. Trial preparation which is needed in any litigation is not given any weight at all.

Must draft pleadings in 1 hour

Every pleading except for motions for postponement or for extension is counted as one hour of service. One hour?! A well-researched position paper, appeal or petition cannot be finished in so short a time. This will either promote mediocrity or inequity for pleadings filed in behalf of the indigent. The temptation is thus created to draft ‘legal aid’ pleadings without the kind of attention one gives to ‘paid for’ pleadings.

Legal Consultation and other Case-Related Service not counted

And here’s another thing. Legal aid services only refer to “appearance in court or quasi-judicial body for and in behalf of an indigent or pauper litigant and the preparation of pleadings or motions. It shall also cover assistance by a practicing lawyer to indigent or poor litigants in court-annexed mediation and in other modes of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Services rendered when a practicing lawyer is appointed counsel de oficio shall also be considered as free legal aid services and credited as compliance under this Rule;”

Providing legal advise or any other kind of legal help such as the drafting of an agreement are not sufficient. To qualify as counted legal service, it has to be formal appearances before the court or other bodies. As if a lawyer does not have enough hearings than he knows how to deal with. An associate in a law firm or even a solo practitioner is busy enough as it is. Either his paying clients or his indigent ones will have to pay the price of his divided attention.

A lawyer will now have less time for himself or even his family. And what about the expenses of going to a hearing, preparing a pleading or just serving documents? How will copies of a motion be given to all the required parties? Will this be the death of the solo practitioner? It is hard to see how a lawyer can do all this in an effective manner when he has his own office to run. It should not be forgotten that lawyering is also a living and one has to make ends meet. The purported nobility of the profession has to give in to practicality too.

Mounting tedious requirements

To prove one is worthy of the privilege to continue practicing, a lawyer has to file four (4) certificates ten (10) days after the last month of each quarter of the year attesting to his compliance with service requirements .

Proof of compliance is now to be included in all pleadings at the risk of dismissal of the case or having the pleading expunged. Assuming lawyers are guilty of non-compliance, why punish the clients as well? So many numbers and dates have to be added to a lawyer’s signature nowadays, starting with the PTR, the Roll Number, MCLE Compliance and now this. Passing the bar and taking the oath is not enough anymore.

If you are exempt, you are to fill up a form under oath to attest to this fact. If your exemption is due to your holding a government or elective office, you pay an “annual contribution” P2,000. If you are not a practicing lawyer, you are assessed P4,000 a year as an “annual contribution.” It is sort of a penalty, tax or fee for not appearing in court regularly.

But one can get MCLE credit for rendering “legal service.” That’s small consolation but let’s not get into the merits of the MCLE and how it is akin in some instances to temporary detention without charges and without trial. How helpful really are MCLE courses when lawyers can attend fully tuned into their ipods or focused solely on entertainment magazines? But, we digress.

What’s the PAO for?

Current law already provides for representation for the indigent through the public attorney’s office. Why the Court has felt it necessary to impose this duty on practicing lawyers and to punish them for non-compliance is a sore issue.


If you don’t meet the hours required, a practicing lawyer will have to explain why. If no explanation has been given or if it is found unsatisfactory, you can be declared a member of the IBP who is not in good standing. Then you have to pay a P4,000 penalty which shall accrue to the special fund for the legal aid program of the IBP. This status shall be effective for a period of 3 months from the receipt of notice of the erring lawyer. He “cannot appear in court or any quasi-judicial body as counsel.” This status shall last beyond the 3 months “until and unless the penalty shall have been paid.”

If a lawyer who fails to comply with his duties under the Rule for at least 3 consecutive years, he shall be the subject of disciplinary proceedings. If found administratively liable, the penalty of suspension in the practice of law for 1 year shall be imposed. A lot depends on the IBP and the NCLA on how these rules will be interpreted.

The accused enjoy the presumption of innocence. Lawyers do not even have the benefit of a presumption that they are men and women of goodwill. That they do help when they can, whether via their law practice or otherwise.

Charity and service should be freely given. And it reflects badly not only on the profession but on the individual-members of the bar that the Supreme Court has seen fit to impose both on them. Lawyers do their share as citizens, and if more is asked or required of them, their own personal consciences should prevail, not the court’s, not the justices’ nor anyone else’s.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

This Being Fire Prevention Month . . . (Let’s tackle the Revised Fire Code of the Philippines)

By Siesta-friendly

In case you didn’t know, the Fire Code of the Philippines was revised last December 2008. We now have a Revised Fire Code of the Philippines by virtue of the enactment of RA 9514[1]. March being Fire Prevention Month, its only appropriate we tackle this new law.


Under Section 7 of the Act, owners, administrators or occupants of buildings, structures and their premises or facilities and other responsible persons are required to comply with the following, as may be appropriate:

  1. Inspection Requirement - Fire safety inspections shall be conducted by the BFP prior to the grants of permits and/or licenses by local governments and other government agencies concerned, for the 1) Use or occupancy of buildings, structures, facilities or their premises including the installation or fire protection and fire safety equipment, and electrical system in any building structure or facility; and 2) Storage, handling and/or use of explosives or of combustible, flammable, toxic and other hazardous materials;

  1. Safety Measures for Hazardous Materials - Fire safety measures are required for the manufacture, storage, handling and/or use of hazardous materials involving any substance with potential to cause harm to persons, property or the environment because of one or more of the following: a) The chemical properties of the substance; b) The physical properties of the substance; c) The biological properties of the substance. All dangerous goods, combustible liquids and chemicals are hazardous materials.

  1. Safety Measures for Hazardous Operation/Processes - Fire Safety measures are required for the following hazardous operation/processes: 1) welding or soldering; 2) industrial baking and drying; 3) waste disposal; 4) pressurized/forced-draft burning equipment; 5) smelting and forging; 6) motion picture projection using electrical arc lamps; 7) refining, distillation and solvent extraction; and 8) such other operations or processes as may hereafter be prescribed in the Rules and Regulations.

  1. Provision on Fire Safety Construction, Protective and Warning System - Owners, occupants or administrator or buildings, structures and their premises or facilities shall incorporate and provide therein fire safety construction, protective and warning system, and shall develop and implement fire safety programs, to wit:

1) Fire protection features such as sprinkler systems, hose boxes, hose reels or standpipe systems and other fire fighting equipment;

2) Fire Alarm systems;

3) Fire walls to separate adjoining buildings, or warehouses and storage areas from other occupancies in the same building;

4) Provisions for confining the fire at its source such as fire resistive floors and walls extending up to the next floor slab or roof, curtain boards and other fire containing or stopping components;

5) Termination of all exits in an area affording safe passage to a public way or safe dispersal area;

6) Stairway, vertical shafts, horizontal exits and other means of egress sealed from smoke and heat;

7) A fire exit plan for each floor of the building showing the routes from each other room to appropriate exits, displayed prominently on the door of such room;

8) Self-closing fire resistive doors leading to corridors;

9) Fire dampers in centralized air-conditioning ducts;

10) Roof vents for use by fire fighters; and

11) Properly marked and lighted exits with provision for emergency lights to adequately illuminate exit ways in case of power failure.

Already bored? Don’t be. The info are important.

Prohibited Acts

Under Section 8, the following are prohibited:

a) Obstructing or blocking the exit ways or across to buildings clearly marked for fire safety purposes, such as but not limited to aisles in interior rooms, any part of stairways, hallways, corridors, vestibules, balconies or bridges leading to a stairway or exit of any kind, or tolerating or allowing said violations;

b) Constructing gates, entrances and walkways to buildings components and yards which obstruct the orderly and easy passage of fire fighting vehicles and equipment;

c) Prevention, interference or obstruction of any operation of the fire service, or of duly organized and authorized fire brigades;

d) Obstructing designated fire lanes or access to fire hydrants;

e) Overcrowding or admission of persons beyond the authorized capacity in movie houses, theaters, coliseums, auditoriums or other public assembly buildings, except in other assembly areas on the ground floor with open sides or open doors sufficient to provide safe exits;

f) Locking fire exits during period when people are inside the building;

g) Prevention or obstruction of the automatic closure of fire doors or smoke partitions or dampers;

h) Use of fire protective or fire fighting equipment of the fire service other than for fire fighting except in other emergencies where their use are justified;

i) Giving false or malicious fire alarms;

j) Smoking in prohibited areas as may be determined by fire service, or throwing of cigars, cigarettes, burning objects in places which may start or cause fire;

k) Abandoning or leaving a building or structure by the occupant or owner without appropriate safety measures;

l) Removing, destroying, tampering or obliterating any authorized mark, seal, sign or tag posted or required by the fire service for fire safety in any building, structure or processing equipment; and

m) Use of jumpers or tampering with electrical wiring or overloading the electrical system beyond its designated capacity or such other practices that would tend to undermine the fire safety features of the electrical system.

Still awake? We’re half-way through.

Lead Government Agency

Pursuant to Section 5, the Code shall be administered and enforced by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). No occupancy permit, business or permit to operate shall be issued without securing a Fire Safety Inspection Certification (FSIC) from the BFP.

In addition, the BFP shall also:

a) Inspect at reasonable times, any building, structure, installation or premises for dangerous or hazardous conditions or materials, provided that in case of single family dwelling, an inspection must be upon the consent of the occupant or upon lawful order from the proper court. The BFP can order the owner/occupant to remove hazardous materials and/or stop hazardous operation/process;

b) Where conditions exist and are deemed hazardous to life and property, order the owner/occupant of any building or structure to summarily abate (or immediately stop) such hazardous conditions;

c) Require the building owner/occupant to submit plans and specifications, and other pertinent documents of said building; and

d) Issue a written notice to the owner and/or contractor to stop work on any portion of any work due to the absence, or in violation, of approved plans and specifications, permit and/or clearance or certification as approved by the BFP. The notice shall state the nature of the violation and no work shall be continued on that portion until the violation has been corrected.

Accordingly, below are tips and measures offered by the BFP on their website.

You should be fully alert for this.

Fire Safety Tips

a) Put phone numbers of fire department near phone.

b) Eliminate fire hazards through good housekeeping. Dispose waste paper, rubbish, and other flammable materials regularly.

c) Keep matches out of children’s reach.

d) Oil or gas lamps and candles should be placed away from curtains. Do not put them where the wind, children or pets may topple them. Put out the flame before going to bed.

e) Do not keep flammable materials like gasoline, alcohol, and paint inside the house.

f) Regularly check your electrical installations, and have all frayed (worn out) wirings and electrical fixtures changed or repaired by a licensed electrician.

g) Do not overload electrical circuits by putting additional lights and appliances.

h) Blown fuses should not be replaced with coins, wires, or any metal.

i) Never leave a lit cigarette/cigar/pipe unattended - it may fall on flammable materials which could start a fire.

Additional Simple Home Fire Prevention Measures

a) Crush your cigarettes and cigar stubs thoroughly before discarding them. Provide yourselves with ashtray. Do not smoke in bed.

b) Do not store any flammable substance or any volatile liquid in the kitchen. Cover the flammable container tightly.

c) Extinguish all live charcoals and embers or concentrate them in the middle of the stove after being through with kitchen chores. Make it a habit to inspect the kitchen before retiring. Most fires in the home occur at night.

d) Keep lighters away from children’s reach.

e) Clear the corners and nook of the house from rubbish, rags and other waste materials.

f) Remove the accumulation of leaves in gutters and other parts of the roof and wood shaving and litters in the attic.

g) Quantities of flammables, such as gasoline, oil benzene, naptha, alcohol, and other highly flammable materials should be kept in dwelling houses.

h) Rubbish burning should be done on the stove or in the yard away from the house wall. Every smoldering coal left from the bonfire should be extinguished. Be careful that no lying embers from bonfire would alight on the roof of the houses. (Better yet, listen to environmentalists and quit burning trash altogether, the smoke is hazardous to the environment and our health).

i) Do not use open flames for decorations.

j) Combustible objects, such as firewoods, waste paper and rugs should not be indiscriminately dumped or strewn in the house. Boxes should be regularly cleaned.

k) Kerosene and oil stoves should be checked to leakage and they should be regularly cleaned.

l) Do not use leaking liquefied petroleum gas equipment.

Emergency Action: Burns

Small Heat Burns

  1. Remove clothing if not stuck.
  2. Immerse burned area in lukewarm water or apply cold pack (never use ice) unless skin is open or blistered.
  3. Cover burn with sterile or clean dressing.

Major Heat Burns

  1. Call for emergency help (usually 117) or rush victim to hospital.
  2. DO NOT remove clothing, DO NOT immerse burn in cold water.
  3. Cover burn with clean material; keep victim warm, elevate burned feet or legs.
  4. If not breathing, give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation: tilt-lift chin, pinch nose shut, seals mouth with yours, give 2 full breaths. Repeat: 1 breath each 5 seconds.

Chemical Burns

  1. PROMPTLY call for emergency aid, or rush to hospital immediately.
  2. If chemical container is nearby, obey first aid steps on it. Keep it to show to the hospital personnel.
  3. Until help arrives, remove clothing from burn and flood burn with water. DOCTORS SHOULD SEE ALL BURNS.

March may be Fire Prevention Month but the info above are definitely worth remembering 365 days of the year.

[1]An Act Establishing A Comprehensive Fire Code Of The Philippines, Repealing Presidential Decree No. 1185 And For Other Purposes”, December 19, 2008.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Visa Alert: The Non-Immigrant Special Visa For Employment Generation or the SVEG

By Siesta-friendly

To diminish its reputation for pimping its people for overseas employment, or maybe they just realized its inconceivable that all 80M of us will get up and go, or to get brownie points and divert public attention from its plunderous activities, or for sheer concern (mmm … maybe not), or for whatever reason, the government has suddenly focused its attention on local employment.

And so, to somehow increase local job opportunities, the government has determined that making it easy and less expensive for foreigners to enter and exit the country, would do the trick. That’s right, if there’s one thing that stifles local employment it’s the lack of foreign investors. No word on what government is actually doing to fight corruption. Anyway, a new visa has been concocted and made available for qualified non-immigrants pursuant to Executive Order No. 758, dated November 17, 2008.[1]


Since the visa is meant to help generate employment, below are the minimum requirements of the foreigner. Remember that these are continuing conditions and will likely increase once the Bureau of Immigration comes up with the implementing rules.

  1. he shall actually, directly or exclusively engage in a lawful, viable and sustainable commercial investment/enterprise in the Philippines, exercises/performs management acts or has the authority to hire, promote and dismiss employees;
  2. he evinces a genuine intention to indefinitely remain in the Philippines;
  3. he is not a risk to national security (members of Jemaah Islamiyah need not apply); and
  4. his commercial investment/enterprise must provide actual employment to at least 10 Filipinos in accordance with Philippine labor laws and other applicable special laws. (Section 2)


Qualified foreigners who are granted the SVEG shall be considered special non-immigrants with multiply entry privileges and conditional extended stay, without need of prior departure from the Philippines. The privileges may extend to the qualified foreigner’s spouse and dependent unmarried child/children below 18 years of age whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted. (Section 1)


The procedure will be more detailed once the BI’s implementing rules are released. But for now here’s what Section 3 of EO 758 provides:

1. Upon payment of regulatory fees, the Commissioner of Immigration shall receive and resolve SVEG applications within fifteen (15) days from the date of filing.

Documentary proofs required by the Commissioner of Immigration shall be evaluated and reviewed without strict observance to the technicalities of evidence and procedure.

2. Upon favourable review, the Commissioner of Immigration shall issue a Notice of Approval directing the foreigner-applicant to report for registration and documentation at the BI. An Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) I-Card and an Identification Certification (IC) shall be issued upon payment of appropriate fees.

3. Upon an unfavourable decision, the Commission shall issue a Notice of Disapproval informing the foreigner-applicant of the denial of his application. Within 15 days from receipt of such disapproval, the foreigner-applicant may file a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) for the review of his application. Only 1 such Motion shall be entertained.


Under Section 4 of EO 758, the Commissioner of Immigration shall revoke the SVEG granted if:

  1. the SVEG holder fails to maintain compliance of any of the conditions;
  2. it was obtained through fraud or willful misrepresentation of material facts;
  3. the foreigner is convicted by final judgment for a crime or offense in the Philippines; or
  4. if competent authority makes a final determination that the foreigner poses a risk to national security.

A foreigner whose special non-immigrant status is revoked under a, b or d above shall be deported via summary proceedings. In the case of revocation under c, the foreigner shall be deported after the service of sentence.

So how soon before we hear the airport doors crashing with a deluge of foreign investors you think?

UPDATE: The steps in applying for the SVEG as well as the checklist of requirements may be found here.

[1] “Prescribing Guidelines For The Issuance Of A Special Visa To Non-Immigrant For Employment Generation”.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

They tried to get inside the ER;They said no, no, no. (On the law prohibiting hospitals and clinics from refusing to administer emergency medical treatment)

By Siesta-friendly

In case you’re not familiar with this law (and we’re betting still not a lot of people are), we’ve decided to tackle it now as (notwithstanding the more than 10 years since the law was passed) we still come across news reports about hospitals violating the law by refusing emergency medical treatment to patients until the latter first make an advanced payment or deposit.

The law is short, simple and clear. So, we’ll let it speak for itself.

No deposit required

In emergency or serious cases, it is unlawful for any proprietor, president, director, manager or any other officer, and/or medical practitioner or employee of a hospital or medical clinic:

a) to request, solicit, demand or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment as a prerequisite for confinement or medical treatment of a patient in such hospital or medical clinic, or

b) to refuse to administer medical treatment and support as dictated by good practice of medicine to prevent death or permanent disability.[1]

When patient transfer is allowed

However, by reason of inadequacy of the medical capabilities of the hospital or medical clinic, the attending physician may transfer the patient to a facility where the appropriate care can be given, after the patient or his next of kin consents to said transfer and after the receiving hospital or medical clinic agrees to the transfer. And when such patient is unconscious, incapable of giving consent and/or unaccompanied, the physician can transfer the patient even without his consent, provided that such transfer shall be done only after necessary emergency treatment and support have been administered to stabilize the patient and after it has been established that such transfer entails less risks than the patient's continued confinement. And no hospital or clinic, after being informed of the medical indications for such transfer, shall refuse to receive the patient nor demand from the patient or his next of kin any deposit or advance payment.[2]

After the hospital or medical clinic mentioned above shall have administered medical treatment and support, it may cause the transfer of the patient to an appropriate hospital consistent with the needs of the patient, preferably to a government hospital, especially in the case of poor or indigent.[3]

The transferring and receiving hospital, shall be as much as practicable, be within a 10 kilometer radius of each other. The transfer shall always be properly documented.[4]

Hospitals may require a deposit or advanced payment when the patient is no longer under the state of emergency and he/she refuses to be transferred.

Additional requirements[5]

A copy of the law and the implementing rules and regulations should be displayed prominently at hospital emergency rooms, hospital admission, counters and medical clinic premises.

Hospital and clinic managers should instruct their personnel to provide prompt and immediate medical attention to emergency and serious cases without any prior requirements for payment or deposit.

Hospital and clinic managers should establish billing and collection procedure for treatment or confinement of emergency and serious cases which shall not commence until the essential appropriate treatment of such cases has been completed.


The official, medical practitioner or employee of the hospital or medical clinic shall be punished by imprisonment from 6 months and 1 day up to 2 years and 4 months, or a fine between P20,000.00 and P100,000.00 or both, at the court’s discretion.[6]

If the violation was committed pursuant to an established policy of the hospital or clinic or upon instruction of its management, the director or officer of such hospital or clinic responsible shall be punished by imprisonment of 4 to 6 years, or a fine between P100,000.00 and P500,000.00 or both, at the court’s discretion.[7]

At the instance of the Bureau of Licensing and Regulation, administrative proceedings may also be pursued against erring clinics or hospitals that could lead to either suspension or revocation of appropriate licenses.[8]

Hospitals may be run for profit but the nature of their business at times require them to give priority to their customers ahead of monetary gain. It’s about time they accept it and that people are fully aware of it.

[1] Sec.1, Republic Act No. 8344 (“An Act Penalizing The Refusal Of Hospitals And Medical Clinics To Administer Appropriate Initial Medical Treatment And Support In Emergency Or Serious Cases, Amending For The Purpose Batas Pambansa Bilang 702, Otherwise Known As "An Act Prohibiting The Demand Of Deposits Or Advance Payments For The Confinement Or Treatment Of Patients In Hospitals And Medical Clinics In Certain Cases"), August 25, 1997.

[2] Supra.

[3] Sec. 3, Ibid.

[4] Sec. 3, Implementing Rules And Regulations Of Republic Act No. 8344, February 18, 1998.

[5] Sec. 6, IRR.

[6] Sec. 4, RA 8344.

[7] Supra

[8] Sec. 6, IRR.