Duterte to use gambling funds for medicines

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 Aug) – President Rodrigo R. Duterte said that he will use funds generated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to build “pharmacies for the masses” and make available free medicines for the poor Filipinos.

In a press conference aired live on ANC, Duterte said that the “botika ng bayan” will be situated right next to the government health centers to make the access to medicines easier.

“All earnings of PAGCOR, which is about P30 to P35 billion, will be used exclusively for the medicines of all Filipinos. They just need to go to the City Health Offices (CHOs),” he said.

The President added that he is hoping the funds will be used properly and will not go to the purse of some government workers.

“I hope it will be utilized correctly, ayaw ko yan nakawan ng medisina. I will revive the ‘botika ng bayan’ near the place where the health centers are para walang mag-uwi na walang medisina,” Duterte said.

He said that he is considering to revive online gambling, provided that it be located in places accredited by the PAGCOR for proper collection of taxes, and far from the churches and schools.

“Pay the right taxes, you gamble your death until you die. I do not really care. This will add to the special trust fund for the medicines of the poor Filipinos,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)