Camalig opens first “Botika ng Bayan” in Albay

Following the Botika ng Bayan (BNB) launching of Sorsogon’s Casiguran and Prieto Diaz, the municipality of Camalig spearheaded the opening of BNB for the province of Albay on January 18, 2019.

The relaunching of BNB is part of the Duterte Administration’s thrust to provide quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare service for the Filipinos. This is also in line with the Department of Health’s (DOH) reform program called Formula One Plus, which envisions Filipinos to be among the healthiest people in Southeast Asia by 2020 and in Asia by 2040. 

As one of the components of the Universal Health Care Bill is access to free medicines, BNB realizes the vision of President Rodrigo Duterte that “no Filipino should go home without free access to basic medicines when needed and that quality essential medicines should be accessible and affordable for all Filipinos.”

Through the enhanced BNB program, rural areas with outpatient and pharmacy services will be provided medicine for common diseases in the community. With the enactment of BNB, Local Government Units (LGUs) can help its people, especially the indigents, gain access to affordable, if not free, quality essential basic medicines. 

Camilig’s Hon. Vice Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo Jr. noted that close connection and coordination from the LGU to DOH will ensure more programs will be available in Camalig. Baldo also added that the Camalig will allot budget to sustain the program.

DOH OIC – Regional Director Dr. Ernie V. Vera also assured that DOH will give its full support in the implementation and sustainability of BNB by providing technical and logistical assistance. Vera also cited that Camalig is the initial step to opening BNBs in other municipalities in Albay. 

“We emphasize our important partnership with the LGUs because we recognize their task in providing quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare services to the people. The DOH cannot do this alone that is why will continue the collaborating with LGUs in implementing and sustaining health programs for the Bicolanos. Rest assured, the DOH is always ready to serve,” said Vera.//nsau