Garin: ‘Very enterprising’ couple delaying importation of COVID-19 test machines
MANILA, Philippines — As the country faces the coronavirus pandemic, Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin bared that a “very enterprising” couple is allegedly delaying the importation of much-needed COVID-19 testing machines.
In her speech before House members, Garin said the couple, whom she tagged as “V.E.,” supposedly “barred” the entry of automated machines called Natch CS into the country.
“Nagulat po ako dahil noong gumagalaw ang pribadong sector [ay] tila hindi makapasok sa Pilipinas ‘yung order natin at ilang beses napo-postpone only to find out that not only this company but almost all of the companies selling testing kits [ay] ibibigay lang nila sa’yo ang makina nila kung ikaw ay bibili ng testing kit,” Garin claimed.
(I was shocked because when the private sector moved, it seems that our order could not enter the Philippines and it’s been postponed several times only to find out that not only this company but almost all of the companies selling test kits will only give you the machine if you buy their testing kit.)
“At ang pagkakasabi sa mga donor at sa mga negosyante ng kompanyang ito [ay] ang dami raw ipinadala sa mag-asawang ito,” the lawmaker added.
(And what’s been told to donors and business people of this company is that a lot were sent to this couple.)
In total, Garin said the couple allegedly facilitated the entry of 30 NATCH CS automated extractor machines and 40 PCR MA6000 into the country.
“Lingid po sa ating kaalaman (To our understanding), it is the company’s policy that testing equipment is not to be sold for profit. It is being made available to facilitate testing,” Garin said.
“Kung ang isang negosyante po ay iho-hoard o itatago ‘yung mga kagamitan para sa testing at ibebenta nang pagkamahal-mahal sa ating mga donors, hindi po ba is this not injustice to the Filipino people?” she added.
(If a business entity will hoard or keep the materials for testing and sell at higher prices to our donors, is this not an injustice to the Filipino people?)
Garin also said that the couple approached those who can help them secure exclusive distributorship of the machines in the country.
“Dahil sa ginawa nila, na-delay ang pagpasok ng ating kinakailangang equipment at machines noong May 11 para magamit sa laylayan at bayan-bayan,” Garin said.
(Because of what they did, the importation of the needed equipment and machines on May 11 for the use of poor communities and towns has been delayed.)
The lawmaker further said that the couple would tell donors that the equipment are already on their way and that they are in continuous coordination with factories, scientists, and experts who are producing the testing kits.
“Meron na silang warning (They have been warned) one and half months ago. They were warned not to hoard equipment. They were warned to use the equipment for testing,” Garin said.
“They were warned not to overprice. They were warned not to deprive our country of the much needed PCR or swab testing para po sa ating (for our) COVID,” she added.
Garin then appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte and Senate health committee chair Bong Go to look into the alleged anomaly.
“Ako na po ang mag-diagnose: Hindi po COVID, kundi COPID ang sakit nina V.E. COPID as in COrruption in a Pandemic Is a Disaster. Ang kino-COPID nila, ‘di lang pera, kundi buhay ng karaniwang Pilipino,” Garin, a doctor by profession, said.
(I will be the one to diagnose: It’s not COVID but COPID is the illness of V.E. COPID as in COrruption in a Pandemic Is a Disaster. In what they are doing, they are not just stealing money but the lives of ordinary Filipinos.)
“Ang babala ko po kay V.E. at sa mga kakumplot nila, huwag niyo pong subukan ang pamahalaan. ‘Wag niyo pong isiping pwede ninyong bilugin ang ulo ng Pilipino. Huwag niyong gamiting oportunidad ang COVID para pagsamantalahan ang kababayan at kapwa tao natin,” she added.
(My warning to V.E and their cohorts, do not challenge the government. Do not even think that you can fool the Filipinos. Do not use COVID as an opportunity to take advantage of our countrymen.)
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
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.