Locsin curses, swipes Pangilinan over 'favored' imported virus test kits remarks | Inquirer News
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Locsin curses, swipes Pangilinan over ‘favored’ imported virus test kits remarks

/ 05:53 PM July 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign affairs chief Teodoro Locsin Jr. has lashed out at Senator Francis Pangilinan after the latter questioned why the government seemed to prefer imported test kits over locally-made ones that supposedly have to undergo a rigid evaluation.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Locsin also told Pangilinan to just “shut up if you have nothing intelligent to say.”

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Pangilinan, in a statement on Monday, implored the Department of Health (DOH) to explain the purported delay in the use and mass production of Filipino-made test kits. He even pointed out that the COVID-19 test kits developed by the University of the Philippines are 50 percent cheaper than the imported ones.

“Why? Why? BECAUSE THEY’RE PROVED TO FUCKING WORK THAT’S FUCKING WHY? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU. SHUT UP IF YOU HAVE NOTHING INTELLIGENT TO SAY,” Locsin wrote on Twitter.

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“PUTANGINA. I AM NOT GONNA LET OUR PEOPLE DIE IN THE NAME OF FILIPINO FIRST. PUTANGINA,” he added.

In May, DOH recalled the use of the COVID-19 test kits developed by UP over “very minor” defects. Recently, however, DOH announced the Filipino-made test kits are now ready for commercial use.

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Pangilinan further said he was baffled over why DOH supposedly favored imported test kits from China and South Korea.

“Ang sabi sa atin ng mga insiders sa DOH, walang kahirap-hirap ang mga imported test kits, samantalang pinahirapan talaga itong gawa ng Pinoy,” he claimed.

(DOH insiders told me that it’s effortless for imported test kits while the one made by Filipinos is really given a hard time.)

“Dapat sagutin ng pamunuan ng DOH kung bakit natagalan bago natin nagamit itong mas abot-kaya at de kalidad na test kits. May kumikita ba at nakikinabang sa mas mahal na imported test kits?” he added.

(DOH should explain why it took a long time before we use these more affordable and quality test kits. Did someone profit and benefit from the pricey imported test kits?)

Pangilinan also called for transparency, saying that the public needs to be informed of the actual and projected DOH expenses for the procurement of rapid and polymerase chain reaction test kits.

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“How much more fund is allocated for the procurement of more kits? In the budget for 2021, how much is the DOH proposing for such [an] expense?” he asked.

“As concerned as we are for the health of the Filipinos, we are also keenly looking after the well-being of our state coffers. Every peso of meaningful, honest, and transparent spending and saving will go a long way, especially amid an economic crisis,” the senator added.

As of July 21, DOH said the Philippines has confirmed 70,764 coronavirus cases including 23,281 recoveries and 1,837 deaths.

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TAGS: COVID-19 test kits, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Nation, News, Senator Francis Pangilinan
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