Former Health Secretary and now Iloilo’s 1st district representative Janette Garin exposed the corruptive actions of a couple who is a local supplier of testing kits in the country.
Garin claims that the couple allegedly blocked the importation of COVID-19 automated testing machines called “Natch CS”, which caused the delay of the testing machines.
In a privilege speech, she recognized the fact that ‘mass testing’ is not easy and although the country enforces strict quarantine restrictions, she identified a more profound reason for the delay.
Garin also clarifies that she does not blame DOH for the overpriced test kits but the local supplier of testing kits and machines.
“Nagiging mahal ang testing sa Pilipinas dahil nakukuha ng mahal ng mga testing centers yung ating mga testing kits at mga makina,” Garin said.
According to Garin, there is a company in the Philippines that insists on being the executive distributor of the said testing kits and machines.
Garin also said, that when the government gets supplies from a local supplier the price jacks up to double or triple the original price.
“We have one of the most expensive COVID testings. Swab, PCR testing,” Garin said.
Garin suggested that the government should buy directly from the manufacturers so that they can minimize the costs of testing.
“In that way, when we reduce the cost of testing, we reduce all the reagents and consumables, and we end up with a cheaper testing cost, we would be able to test more,” Garin said.
Garin then addressed President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate the anomaly on the overpriced COVID-19 testing kits and machines.
In an interview on Teleradyo on Friday (May 22) afternoon, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte wants an investigation on the alleged overpriced COVID-19 test kits shouldered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), “Bibigyan ko po ng kumpirmasyon na nababahala ang Presidente lalung-lalo doon sa pagkakaiba ng presyo ng testing kit ‘no. So nais po niya ng kasagutan and investigation ‘no. Kasi hindi po nga niya maintindihan gaya ng buong sambayanan kung bakit ganoon kalaki ang discrepancy.”