Romualdezes’ call for LGU test centers backed

Martin Romualdez & Yedda Marie K. Romualdez
House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez

A HOUSE leader has joined the Romualdez couple in calling on Health Sec. Francisco Duque III to guide, expedite and act favorably on pending applications of local government units (LGUs) to set up their own screening centers nationwide to defeat coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19).

House Assistant Majority Leader and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Niña Taduran echoed  the advocacy of House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez in asking the Department of Health (DoH) to help LGUs set up their own laboratories and testing areas.

“The screening centers for COVID-19 nationwide will boost the government’s fight against the dreaded disease,” said Taduran. The Romualdez couple had welcomed the impending onsite assessment of the composite team from the DoH and the Regional Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to the first testing center for COVID-19 in Eastern Visayas.

“We are upbeat that the DoH will approve our proposed testing center in Eastern Visayas,” the couple said, referring to the proposed COVID-19 screening center at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) along the Magsaysay Boulevard in Tacloban City.

The RT PCR machine, a cutting-edge diagnostic technology, has been ordered by Majority Leader Romualdez for the proposed testing center.

Last March 27, the self-assessment and risk assessment of the proposed facility was completed based on the RITM and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines while the results of the assessment were submitted by DoH in the region.

While it passed all the criteria, the DoH had earlier rejected Marikina City’s application for a COVID-19 testing center because of the requirement that it should be placed in a separate building.

Taduran also proposed the establishment of a single central information system for news and advisories from the government, and consultations regarding COVID-19 to avoid misinformation and miscommunication.

She said that the numerous online sites and hotlines are only contributing to the confusion brought by the enhanced community quarantine.

Taduran said a single online site and a central call center will provide information on health, financial assistance and directives
related to the country’s battle against COVID-19. “Dapat iisa lang - parang command center na nandoon lahat ang impormasyon - mula sa ilan na ang apektado ng Covid, saan kukuha ng financial assistance ang mga tao, magkano na ang nailalabas ng bawat LGUs, ano na ang kanilang naipapamahagi at anong lugar ang nangangailangan pa ng tulong. Dapat din na nasa wikang Filipino ito para mas maintindihan ng tao,” said Taduran.

A mirror site on Facebook should also be set up so that people who only use data for accessing the internet will be able to get updates on what the government is doing for them.

“We have to assure the people that the government is working for them and that we are doing something to fight this virus which is slowly crippling not only our health but our economy as well,” said Taduran.

“Marami ang nagrereklamo na hindi nila malaman kung saan kukuha ng impormasyon o saan magrereklamo, lalo na at iba’t iba ang online sites at mga numerong ibinibigay para tawagan. At kapag tinawagan mo pa, wala naman daw sumasagot,” added Taduran.

“I know that this is a peculiar situation and the government is doing everything it can to serve the public. What can keep the people calm in the midst of these uncertain times are answers that will be immediately provided by a central information system,” Taduran stressed.