LGUs to Pass Ordinances Prohibiting Sari-Sari Stores to Sell Medicines

DILG Urges LGUs to Prohibit Sari-Sari Stores from Selling Medicines

The Department of Interior of Local Government (DILG) urged the local government units (LGUs) to pass ordinances prohibiting sari-sari stores from selling medicines.

Sari-Sari Stores Medicines

Interior Secretary Eduardo Ao has asked local governments (LGUs) around the country to draft regulations barring the selling of narcotics in convenience shops. The secretary also directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest offenders who continue to sell pharmaceuticals, particularly counterfeit medicines, even if they lack the permission to do so.

“LGUs should protect the health and general welfare of their constituents. We, therefore, urge LGUs to ensure that sari-sari stores within their jurisdictions are not selling any medicine because under the law, hindi sila awtorisado,” Año said.

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“Inatasan din natin ang PNP na siguruhing hindi nagbebenta ng gamot ang mga sari-sari store at arestuhin ang sumusuway sa batas lalo na iyong mga naglalako ng pekeng gamot,” he added.

His comment came only days after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed President Duterte that it had received 185 allegations of sari-sari businesses unlawfully selling pharmaceuticals from January 13 to February 11. According to the FDA, nine of the 78 verified offenders were selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals, including COVID-19 medicines.

Local governments, which grant business permits for sari-sari stores to operate, should establish ordinances prohibiting them from selling medications, according to FDA Deputy Director-General Oscar Gutierrez. Under Section 30 of Republic Act No. 10918, or the Philippine Pharmacy Act, only FDA-licensed retail drug shops or pharmacies are authorized to offer pharmaceuticals and medication to the public.

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