Solon wants Botica sa Barangay institutionalized

A lady lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to institutionalize the Botica sa Barangay Program of the Department of Health (DOH) to provide the people, especially those in the countryside, access to basic drugs and medicines.

Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David (4th District, Manila) said most of the people in rural areas are deprived of access to basic drugs and medicines because of the lack of drug stores, particularly in far-flung barangays.

“The creation of Botica sa Barangay nationwide would make basic drugs and medicines available to people at affordable prices,” Bonoan-David said.

House Bill 6833, also known as Botica sa Barangay Act, mandates the DOH to implement a three-year program for the establishment of barangay drugstores in every barangay.

“Within a period of three years, the DOH is enjoined to establish drugstores in every barangay so as to make available drugs and medicines for common illnesses such as fever, pain, cough, colds, and others, including vitamin and mineral preparations,” Bonoan-David said.

The measure shall give priority to barangays on the basis of population, poverty incidence, extent of medical and health care and/or services, geographical conditions, financial and other social-economic factors.

In the establishment of Botica sa Barangay, the measure requires the DOH to hold prior consultation with the Municipal Development Council concerned.

The Botica sa Barangay shall make available drugs included in the “core list” of the national drug formulary.

A Botica sa Barangay Aide shall be trained under the direction of the DOH to facilitate the sale of medicines at the Botica sa Barangay.

The DOH shall also embark on a sustained promotional campaign to increase community awareness of the Botica sa Barangay through its personnel, non-governmental organizations, barangay officials and the print and broadcast media.

Existing Botica sa Barangays shall be maintained and shall also be covered by the measure.

The bill mandates the DOH to issue the necessary rules and guidelines to fully implement the provisions of the Act.

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