By MB Online
Half of the P5 billion-check that President Duterte received from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) will be allocated to the Department of Health (DOH) to provide free medicines for the poor.
The Chief Executive revealed this as he led the traditional lighting of the Malacañang Christmas Tree held at the Malacañan Palace grounds, Monday evening.
Duterte added that the money, originally allotted for his socio-civic projects fund, will also be apportioned to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“I want every Filipino holding a reseta of a doctor that could not find the money to buy the medicines, sabi ko ibigay niyo yang P2 billion na yan this Christmas,” the President disclosed.
“I got the check four days ago and by this time it should be ready for assistance,” he added.
During his keynote speech, the chief executive also highlighted the ongoing peace negotiations between the communists groups and the government, disclosing that the team of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III is set to fly back to Oslo, Norway.
He then clarified that he will only release political prisoners who are elderly and suffering from incurable diseases.
“If they are ready to be released and will be accepted by the families, I will release them before Christmas time. There’s really no point in detaining persons na matanda na tapos may sakit…It’s a very awkward feeling,” he said.
The Malacañang Christmas Tree lighting was graced by around 1,500 guests composed of Malacañang officials, employees and other invitees, and Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, RTVM reported.