Duterte urges public not to buy medicine from sari-sari stores

Published February 22, 2022, 11:21 AM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

President Duterte reiterated his warning to the public to refrain from buying medicines from “sari-sari stores” or variety stores as these can make their ailments worse.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with key government officials prior to his “Talk to the People” at the Malacañan Palace on February 21, 2022. (KING RODRIGUEZ / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

In his late-night “Talk to the People” address on Monday, Feb. 21, Duterte reminded the public to only buy medicines in drugstores permitted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Huwag kayong bumili ng mga (Do not buy) medical whatever… Ang mabili ninyo minsan diyan ay yung itinatapon na doon sa botika kasi expired na tapos nasalo yan sa sari-sari store (Sometimes what you will buy at the sari-sari store have already been thrown award at the pharmacy because it has expired),” Duterte said.

“Kapag diyan ka bumili sa sakit ng ulo mo, pag-inom mo niyan ang sakit mo ulo, pati tiyan na, pati bulsa kasi pagdating ng panahon sa ospital another reseta ‘yan.. Iyan ang mangyari diyan (When you buy medicine there for your headache, it will also affect your stomach, as well as your pocket because you will have to get another prescription at the hospital soon. That’s what will happen),” he added.

During the briefing, Duterte commended Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año for issuing a memorandum circular that aims to curb the selling of medicines in sari-sari stores.

The President also emphasized that local officials should be monitoring the situation and reminding their constituents not to purchase medicines from these stores.

“The best way really is to give a warning, a serious warning, to our constituents, especially from the barangay captains, mayors, na ‘wag kayong bumili diyan (don’t buy there). For all you know matagal na ‘yan, expired na (it’s alread expired),” Duterte said.

“Tinatapon na nga ‘yan eh (It’s already thrown away). They are disposed responsibly, of course, but just a warning na ‘yung makakuha kayo ng expired, iyan ang problema (if what you’ll get is expired, that is the problem). Do not be too hardheaded at para walang sakit ng ulo,” he added.

The DILG chief earlier urged local government units (LGUs) to pass an ordinance banning the sale of medicines in community stores after the FDA reported that 78 stores in three regions were found illegally selling medicines.

Of this number, FDA Deputy General Oscar Gutierrez said nine stores were retailing fake medicines including COVID-19 medicines.

Under the counterfeit law, Gutierrez noted that sari-sari stores are prohibited from selling medicines which carry penalties of a minimum of six months and one day in jail.