Paranaque homeowner officials in hot water

June 01, 2020

THE president of Paranaque City BF Federation of Homeowners Association Inc. (BFFHAI) who allowed Chinese workers of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) to be tested for coronavirus (COVID)-19 inside the subdivision without permission from the city government is now in hot water.

This after Mayor Edwin Olivarez ordered an investigation against officers of BFFHAI headed by Arturo Astorga II following a complaint from concerned residents of the gated subdivision that the mass testing of some 300 Chinese POGO workers was done without necessary permits from the Department of Health (DOH) and the City Health Office.

Barangay BF Homes Chairman Paolo Marquez disclosed that officers of BFFHAI failed to seek any permit or consent, not only from their office, but also the city health office when they conducted mass testing inside the subdivision. He reminded Astorga that COVID-19 testings are only undertaken by the DOH accredited testing centers and the city health office.

Olivarez earlier noted that the testing managed by Astorga and his officers was illegal because it should have been done at a DOH-accredited laboratory or clinic, not at a subdivision’s open space.

Astorga also apologized to Olivarez but maintains that “securing a local government unit permit was not actually required per Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infections Diseases (IATF) guidelines”.

Mar Jimenez, chief of the Public Information Office, laughed off the claim of Astorga saying “he (Astorga) is ignorant of the rules and regulations under Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan To Heal as One Act.”

Jimenez said that they were informed by residents near the clubhouse that several Chinese POGO workers who lined up in the area are not wearing face masks and failed to observe physical distancing during the reported COVID testing.