MANILA, -- Poor patients in government hospitals, like the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), can now go to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and ask for financial assistance to buy medicines.
This after President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Tuesday that he gave PHP1 billion of the PHP5 billion from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) to the DSWD.
"Andrea Domingo (chairperson of Pagcor) gave PHP5 billion right there and then," President Duterte announced in his pre-departure speech before leaving for a four-day state visits to Cambodia and Singapore.
"All those Filipinos with doctor's prescriptions from PGH and government hospitals, go to nearest DSWD and you can ask for your medicine there. It's PHP1 billion I released the other day," the President added.
President Duterte said another PHP1 billion will also be released for the medications of drug addicts under the rehabilitation programs of city health officers.
"I don't know if it would be enough but I still have PHP3 billion. I'm just holding and you can still buy medicines. For example, the tranquilizers, the medicines that would keep you calm and would restore your sanity if there is still hope," the President said.
The Chief Executive recently inaugurated a mega drug rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija that can house 10,000 in-patients once the construction of the facility is completed.
The mega rehab center, situated inside Fort Magsaysay military camp, was donated by Chinese philanthropist Huang Rulun who was impressed by President Duterte's war on drugs.
Since President Duterte launched his campaign against illegal drugs six months ago, almost 800,000 drug pushers and users have surrendered to the authorities.
On the other hand, the Philippine National Police's Oplan Tokhang has resulted to the arrest of more than 37,000 and the killing of close to 2,000 drug addicts in legitimate police operations.
President Duterte has claimed that illegal drug has contaminated almost four million Filipinos and "could contaminate 10 million more if not stopped."
Source: Philippines News Agency