Gatchalian: ‘Red tape, ‘lack of sense of urgency’ will kill us, not virus’
MANILA, Philippines — “It’s not the virus that will kill us, it’s the red tape and the lack of sense of urgency.”
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian pointed this out on Wednesday as he lamented what he said was the slow accreditation of testing centers and the importation of test kits in the country.
“Sorry to say this, but it’s not the virus that will kill us. It’s red tape & the lack of sense of urgency that will kill us,” the senator said over Twitter.
“Ang tagal i-acredit ng DOH ang mga testing centers at importation of kits,” he added.
Sorry to say this, but it's not the virus that will kill us. It's red tape & the lack of sense of urgency that will kill us. Ang tagal i-acredit ng DOH ang mga testing centers at importation of kits. We need to move around the clock. Maraming magugutom pag hindi natin mahinto ito
— Sherwin Gatchalian (@stgatchalian) March 25, 2020
Gatchalian cited as an example, a testing center set up by the Marikina City government, which was set to start its own testing this week until the Department of Health (DOH) said it needs to undergo evaluation first.
““[The] DOH should not treat Marikina as a client applying for a license to operate a laboratory like this, but it should be a partnership,” Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said after meeting with DOH officials on Monday.
“This is a whole-of-government approach where local and national agencies need to help one another,” he added.
Gatchalian said the government needs “to move around the clock.”
“Maraming magugutom pag hindi natin mahinto ito,” he added.
To date, the Philippines has recorded 552 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
Of the number, 35 have died while 20 patients have already recovered.
With the rise of cases in the country, the government has placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of the disease.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.