Pacquiao hits DILG

February 20, 2022 People's Journal 112 views

PROMDI presidential bet Manny Pacquiao rejected proposals to ban small community stores, also known as sari-sari stores, from selling over-the-counter drugs since not everyone has access to the medicines they need.

Responding to the call of the Department of Interior Local Government ( DILG) for local government units to restrict sari-sari stores from selling over-the-counter medicines without any permit, Pacquiao said this is anti-poor and very impractical for rural folks.

This is also an added burden for small store owners who still have to pay to secure permits.

Pacquiao stressed that sari-sari stores are the most accessible source of medicines needed for ordinary ailments like flu, influenza, diarrhea or stomach ache, and body pains.

Over-the-counter medicine is also known as OTC or nonprescription medicine or medicines one can buy without a prescription. They are safe and effective for ordinary ailments.

“Consider natin na hindi lahat ay malapit sa mga drug store. Sa ibang lugar baka sampu hanggang 20 kilometro ang layo ng bayan na kung saan may mga botika, tapos hindi pa lahat 24 hours open,” kanyang pinunto.

“Hindi lahat may sasakyan para umalis patungong bayan to buy medicine sa gabi. Isa pa, karamihan tingi-tingi lang kung bumili kaya baka mas mahal pa yung pamasahe o gasolinang kinonsumo sa bibilhin nilang gamot,” Pacquiao said in describing the actual situation among many poor Filipinos especially those living in the countryside.

The former boxer-turned-legislator opined that regulation and an effective crackdown against smuggling should solve concerns about the alleged proliferation of fake medicines.

As a minimum requirement, Pacquiao said sari-sari stores can be required to submit a list of drugs they are selling to their barangays to allow proper monitoring.

Pacquiao said that government should also launch a crackdown against the smuggling of counterfeit medicines and government officials who are protecting these smugglers must be immediately arrested.

“Kailangan nating higpitan ang pagpasok ng mga pekeng gamot at hindi dapat pinapahirapan ang mga malilit na sari-sari stores. Wala namang maititinda na dapat kung walang makakapasok sa atin na peke. Kailangan lang nating ma-implement mabuti ang ating generic law nang sa gayon ay maging accessible sa tao ang mga mura ngunit mabisang gamot,” the Peoples Champ said.

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