The Marikina City government on Tuesday said the scheduled opening of the city’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing center would push through on Friday even without the approval from the Department of Health.
According to Allan Gatus’ report on Dobol B sa News TV, Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro invoked his local government autonomy and the nationwide state of public health emergency over the matter.
“Idemanda na nila ako para sa kababayan ko. Sa tingin ko mas malaking kasalanan sa batas at tao ang kawalan ng aksyon ng DOH ngayon,” Teodoro said, according to a tweet by Maki Pulido.
Mayor Marcy Teodoro will open Marikina Covid testing center w/o lisence to operate invoking local autonomy and public health emergency. “idemanda na nila ako para sa kababayan ko. Sa tingin ko mas malaking kasalanan sa batas at tao ang kawalan ng aksyon ng DOH ngayon”, he said. pic.twitter.com/HGY9PB1VUX— maki pulido (@makipulido) April 14, 2020
This comes after the DOH failed to inspect the testing facility on Monday and early Tuesday.
DOH personnel, however, arrived to inspect the facility minutes after Teodoro’s announcement.
The DOH issued a short statement on Tuesday afternoon saying it has a "team currently assessing the Marikina laboratory."
"This is to dispel claims that DOH is not coordinating," it added.
The Marikina government said it already signed a deal with the Manila HealthTek, Inc, the producers of the rapid test kits designed by University of the Philippines-National Institutes for Health, to buy additional 3,000 test kits for the city.
The LGU already bought an initial batch of 3,000 test kits previously for its plan to start a local mass testing in the city.
As of April 13, there are 59 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Marikina City, with 14 deaths and six recoveries. There are 23 other suspected cases and one probable. —Ma. Angelica Garcia/KBK/KG, GMA News