The Botika ng Bayan (Pharmacy of the People) began in 2005, ensuring each city or municipality has at least one Botika ng Bayan outlet from where the community can purchase medicines most needed in the area.
The government franchises outlets to non-governmental organizations, cooperatives, trade and labor unions, corporate foundations, or religious groups to do this.
In 2011, the government issued a moratorium on the project due to problems with financing and restocking of medicines.
President Duterte has promised to make the health sector among his top priority projects.
Through Botika ng Masa, Duterte said that he wants to make sure that “no one will go home without buying medicine.”
Dominador Say, undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), said that talks are underway with Chinese embassy officials on this possibility. China’s five major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen will soon be the destination for Filipino domestic workers who are seeking higher income.