By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
The Department of Health (DOH) opened in Marikina City on Tuesday its first “Botika ng Bayan” (BnB) in Metro Manila.
DOH Undersecretary Enrique Domingo and Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro led the inauguration of the BnB located at the fourth floor of the City Health Office.
The mayor, in a statement, expressed gratitude to the DOH for its continuous support to the city government of Marikina, and for choosing the city for its first BnB in the metropolis.
“I am grateful to the DOH for providing us with health care assistance. Even before, the DOH has been our partner in our vaccination campaign, and they have helped us greatly,” Teodoro said in his speech.
He also emphasized the importance of health services to Filipinos, saying that getting sick in the country is a big burden to families whose earnings are barely enough to cover for their basic needs.
The mayor also lauded President Duterte for pushing for the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC).
“I believe that access to health services ay universal and free for all, hindi lang sa consultation, doctor consultation, diagnostic, kundi pati sa medical services at pagbibigay ng medicine,” the mayor stressed.
For his part, Domingo praised Marikina for it was one of the few cities able to sustain the “Botika ng Barangay” program of the previous administration.
Other cities were forced to shut down their “Botika ng Barangay” because of the lack of supervising pharmacist and supplies, the statement read.
“I am happy that Marikina is the first city in Metro Manila to comply with the standards because their standards are similar to the standards of leading drugstores in the country,” Domingo said.
The DOH relaunched in 2018 the BnB program that aims to provide free medicines for common diseases to indigent residents.
Available medicines at BnB are antibiotics, topical ointments, anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, vitamins, antacids and other essential drugs for asthma, hypertension, and diabetes, among others.
The Health Department assured the Marikina City government that they will replenish the BnB’s supply once it runs out of medicines.