Deport, blacklist Chinese nationals behind illegal clinics, lawmaker demands
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday called for the immediate deportation and blacklisting of Chinese nationals involved in unauthorized operation of medical facilities and clinics allegedly catering to Chinese patients suspected to have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Deport and blacklist these criminals. Hindi pwedeng ang higpit natin sa mga Pilipino pero maluwag tayo sa mga Chinese na sangkot sa krimen,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
(Deport and blacklist these criminals. We can’t be lenient on Chinese nationals involved in these kinds of crimes when we are very strict when it comes to our own countrymen).
“While we are working hard to protect our people from the virus, these criminals freely roam and pose danger to public health. This blatant disregard of our laws should merit immediate deportation and blacklisting,” she added.
Hontiveros issued the call following the raids of various illegal healthcare facilities in Parañaque City, Pampanga, and Makati City that were found to be illegally operating as hospitals and pharmacies primarily catering to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) workers and Chinese nationals.
Chinese operators of the illegal facilities may face charges for violating the Food and Drug Administration Law, Medical Act of 1959 and the Hospital Licensure Act, the senator noted.
Hontiveros stressed that the underground and unlicensed medical facilities would put public health in danger as it can be a “source of community transmission.”
“They have zero regulation…We will be putting communities at risk and waste our quarantine efforts because of these medical facilities,” she said.
The senator also called on the government to ramp up its efforts in cracking down on underground clinics.
“We can never be lenient towards this reckless behavior. Buhay ng mga Pilipino ang nakasalalay (The lives of the Filipinos are at stake),” she said.
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