Manila: Two non-governmental organisations asked the government to prioritise the protection of people's health and the prevention of diseases that lead to organ failure instead of promoting the Philippines as an area for organ transplant.

A research has shown that organ trafficking has been going on in the Philippines despite the ban recently imposed by the health department on foreigners getting organs from non-relatives, said the Philippines Against Child Trafficking (PACT) and ECPAT Philippines.

Some of the donors were found to be less than 18 years old, and this anomalous transaction would continue with the recent plan of newly appointed Health Secretary Enrique Ona to lift the ban, the two non-government organisations (NGOs) in a statement sent to Gulf News.


"The money paid to organ donors failed to improve their economic condition or provide a sustainable source of income (for them)," said the NGOs who cited a research done on organ providers in Quezon Province in southern Luzon in 2008.

"Some organ providers have become recruiters themselves because of their (continuous) need to augment their earnings," the research said, adding that one kidney provider was below 18 years old when he donated his organ.

"There may still be other victims below 18 years old," warned the two NGOs, adding that children of organ donors would be vulnerable to the trade.

On July 6, Health Secretary Ona said the ban "stays as of now".

On July 2, Ona said he was opposed to the total ban on organ transplants from Filipino donors to foreigners, adding he was open to allowing non-monetary packages to donors.