Pacman: Don’t target sari-sari stores over meds

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Pacman: Donât target sari-sari stores over meds
File photo of sari-sari store.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Senator and presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao took up the cudgels for indigents whose access to medicines is only through their nearest sari-sari store, following a government proposal to ban over-the-counter sale of medicines in small community stores.

“Let us also be considerate to them because not all of them live near a drug store. In fact in other places, they are about 20 kilometers away from a botica and these stores are not open 24 hours,” Pacquiao maintained after the Department of the Interior and Local Government proposed that local government units restrict sari-sari stores from selling over-the-counter medicines without any permit.

Pacquiao likewise said that regulation and an effective crackdown against smuggling should solve concerns about the reported proliferation of fake medicines.

Knee surgery

An accident has forced House Deputy Speaker and vice presidential candidate Lito Atienza to undergo knee surgery, preventing him from joining debates and rallies, according to Pacquiao.

“My running mate slipped. Then he experienced a problem with his knees that is why he has to undergo a surgery. He will be back probably after one month, maybe by March or April,” Pacquiao said.

The knee injury was the reason why Atienza was absent in several rallies and provincial sorties of Pacquiao.

The former three-term Manila mayor was unable to attend their proclamation rally in General Santos City on Feb. 8, although he joined it virtually. He said he was advised by his doctor to undergo knee replacement surgery at the soonest time.

This means Atienza will not attend the CNN Philippines-sponsored vice presidential debate on Feb. 26.

Out of the nine official VP aspirants, seven have confirmed their attendance to the CNN vice presidential debates. Among them are Senate President Tito Sotto, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, former Akbayan congressman Walden Bello, doctor Willie Ong, Manny SD Lopez, Carlos Serapio and Rizalito David.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio begged off from the event.



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