The city of Mati in Davao Oriental opened the first-ever ‘Botika ng Bayan’ (BnB) in the province on Thursday.
Mati Information Officer Ben Jason Tesiorna said the BnB will provide free access to essential medicines for common diseases in the community targeting indigents and the marginalized sectors of the population.
“This is for Mati residents only. But other mayors are also interested in putting up their own,” Tesiorna told Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Located in the City Health Office (CHO) in Barangay Central, Mati City, the BnB is a drug outlet managed by the local government unit (LGU), with a trained operator and a supervising pharmacist.
Tesiorna said the project is part of Mayor Michelle Rabat’s initiative to ensure the delivery of basic services and for the 2020 budget for health programs to be fully maximized, as required by law.
The BnB will also serve as part of the CHO’s dry run for the Universal Health Care Law implementation, he added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ben Hur Catbagan Jr. CHO head, thanked the LGU and Department of Health for the realization of the project.
“I would like to thank Mayor Michelle for allocating 15 percent of the city’s internal revenue allotment (IRA) and for her full support. And also to the DOH for the partnership and for providing quality, affordable and accessible health care services to the people for three years,” Catbagan said.
The BnB is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s thrust to provide quality, affordable and accessible healthcare services for Filipinos.
Data from the DOH showed that the BnBs have served a total population of more than 90 million Filipinos. (PNA)