MANILA - The state gambling regulator has remitted P5 billion to state coffers to help fund a program that will provide free medicine for the poor, an official said Wednesday.
The "Botika ng Bayan" will be set up nationwide, especially in areas where these are most needed, said Arnell Ignacio, assistant vice president of the community relation and services department, of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).
“Ang gusto ni Presidente, kapag ang pasyente ay binigyan ng reseta, ito ay maibili ng libre. We may be doing the same project of [former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] before, so ikakalat all over the Philippines ‘yung Botika ng Bayan,” he said in a press conference.
Ignacio said it is up to the President if he will use to entire amount for the program.
The gaming agency is also planning to turn over funds to be used to maintain the Philippine General Hospital, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and the Philippine Heart Center, he added.
Around P45 million has also been allocated for the Dangerous Drugs Board as of September this year, he said.