Palace doubts Gordon claim that returning Filipinos at Naia being charged P20k for COVID test
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday expressed doubts that Filipinos arriving from abroad were supposedly being charged up to P20,000 in exchange for fast release of their COVID-19 test results.
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman and Senator Richard Gordon said the non-government organization recently set up testing booths at airports after several Filipinos from abroad complained about the exorbitant fees being asked for their COVID-19 tests.
The PRC earlier pulled out its COVID-19 testing service due to Philippine Health Corporation’s P930-million unsettled dues.
“Well, iyan po ay nanggaling kay Senator Richard Gordon bagama’t alam ninyo naman po ang access sa Naia [Ninoy Aquino International Airport] ay restricted at ina-assure naman po tayo ng Naia na ang lahat po na pumapasok na mga PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test personnel ay namu-monitor naman po nila,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview over Radyo Pilipinas.
(That came from Senator Richard Gordon though you have to know that access at Naia is restricted and they assured us that they are monitoring all PCR test personnel entering the airport.)
“So minabuti pa rin po na magkaroon ng imbestigasyon diyan pero ang assurance po sa atin, dahil restricted nga po iyang airport, eh mukhang malabo naman daw po iyan mangyari,” he added.
(So it’s better for this to be investigated but their assurance to us, since the airport is restricted, it looks like that’s obscure to happen.)
Nonetheless, Roque said those who were asked to shell out P20,000 for their COVID-19 test results should give their testimony because those who take advantage of Filipinos should not be allowed to enter the airport.
“Iyong mga nagsasamantalang ganiyan po hindi dapat nakakapasok ng airport dahil pribilehiyo naman po iyong binibigay nating negosyo sa kanila kapag sila po ay magbibigay ng PCR testing sa mga bumabalik na OFWs at mga Filipinos at iba pang mga dayuhan na pumapasok po sa airport,” he said.
(These people who are taking advantage of passengers should not be allowed to enter the airport because we are giving them the privilege to do their business when they give PCR testing to returning OFWs, Filipinos, and other foreign nationals entering the airport.)
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.