Solon to DOH: Be transparent

HOUSE Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate called on the Department of Health (DOH) to be transparent in reporting the COVID-19 cases in the country and not prevent hospitals to report the incidents they have treated as lang as they are verified.

“We do not want a repeat of what happened with the government handling of the African Swine Flu (ASF) saying that it was already contained but cases again appeared in other parts of the country. The DOH should allow hospitals that have treated confirmed COVID-19 to announce these developments like what Cardinal Santos Medical Center did so as the public would not feel that the department is controlling the release of information on COVID-19,” said Zarate.

“The declaration of a state of public health emergency is clearly a belated reactive measure because the DOH should have earlier asserted the budgetary requirements to prepare for the impending health disaster. The testing kits with complete reagents, additional protective equipment for health workers, additional human resources for epidemiologic surveillance and contact tracing should have been done and acquired when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed,” said the progressive lawmaker.

“The Office of the President has billions of budget for intelligence and travel. The Philhealth also has billions for the supposed universal healthcare but billions were slashed from the budget of DOH hospitals,” added the Davao-based solon.

“We strongly caution the Duterte administration though from using or taking advantage of this pandemic to secure onerous loans that the Filipino taxpayers would be the ones to shoulder in the future,” said Zarate.