DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (PNA file photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday reminded the public that selling of kidneys and other internal organs is dangerous and illegal.

This came after "kidney for iPhone" memes trended on social media together with posts about online selling of internal organs.

“Gusto ko lang po ipaalala sa ating mga kababayan, huwag na huwag po ninyo gagawin na pumapasok kayo doon sa mga grupo na nagbebenta ng kanilang lamang loob (I just want to remind our countrymen not to enter groups that are selling their internal organs),” DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media forum.

She noted internal organs are important for people to live healthy.

While some medical experts say a person can live with one kidney, Vergeire said “that is not the case”.

“Once your kidney is ripped meron din ‘yang kaakibat na risk for you, you go through an operation para tanggalin, pagkatapos, iinom ka na rin ng gamot for you to maintain para napo-proseso at naiaayos ang katawan mo (that has associated risks for you, you go through an operation to have it removed, then you need to take medicines for you to maintain so that your body will process orderly) because you removed one of your kidneys,” she said.

Last month, the DOH released a social media card reminding that selling internal organs is illegal and its implications on people’s health and wellbeing.

Meron tayong batas dito sa ating bansa na tinatanggap lamang po talaga para maging organ donor would be our relatives, ‘yung mga (We have a law which allows organ donors who are our relatives, the) deceased relatives),” Vergeire said.

Republic Act 7170 authorizes the donation of all or a part of a human body after death for specified purposes.

Vergeire added the DOH will continue to monitor the issue and have it investigated by the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to identify the individuals circulating the posts. (PNA)