REP. LAWRENCE “LAW” H. FORTUN
Agusan del Norte 1st District
Member for the Minority – Ways and Means Committee
A lawyer by profession | Mobile number 09177292437
Kung may Build-Build-Build, lalong dapat may Test-Test-Test
DO NOT ABDICATE COVID-19 MASS TESTING TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR, SOLON APPEALS TO IATF
Five months since the coronavirus entered our country from foreign tourists, balikbayans, and returning OFWs, the IATF seems to be waving the flag of surrender on mass testing.
We are alarmed by this seeming surrender. Instead of inspiring confidence and hope, the IATF is now saying the government is powerless to conduct mass testing. It could also be saying that when the vaccine does become available, it could also be just as powerless.
Nawa’y magbago pa ang isip ng IATF sa posisyon nitong iasa na lamang sa pribadong sektor ang mass testing for COVID-19. Sapagkat kapag sa mga pribadong kumpanya ipinaubaya ang mass testing, siguradong cash out payments iyan para sa mga kumpanya at taumbayan, at posibleng hindi yan kayanin ng kanilang bulsa.
A VIABLE SOLUTION TO MAKE MASS TESTING POSSIBLE
Kung sinasabi ng IATF na pondo ang problema kaya’t hindi daw kayang maisailalim sa mass testing ang milyung-milyong Pilipino, kahit man lang sana sagutin ng PhilHealth nang 100 percent ang COVID-19 testing para sa mahihirap habang gawing 50 percent subsidized naman ng PhilHealth ang testing para sa mga nagtatrabaho at sa natitirang 50 percent, hati naman ang employer (25%) at empleyado (25%) sa gastos na maaari pang gawing installment payment upang maging magaan sa bulsa.
Ganyan po ang maaaring doable na solusyon para maisakatuparan ang mass testing. Kung may Build-Build-Build, lalong dapat may Test-Test-Test.
TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE POOR, MIDDLE-INCOME PINOYS
If the IATF will stay on this path of abdicating COVID-19 mass testing to the private sector, then vaccinating everyone when the COVID-19 vaccines are finally available could very well be also become a private sector enterprise, to the detriment of the poor, low, and lower-middle-income families, who cannot afford mass testing and vaccination.
While we commend the significant efforts of the IATF, we also recognize the lack of fresh inputs from the outside looking in. The task force needs fresh perspectives to avoid tunnel vision from setting in.
Perhaps it is high time for the membership of the IATF to be expanded. The country has a wealth of experts and brilliant minds waiting only to be tapped. (END)