NPC seeks 'more inclusive' COVID-19 testing

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2020 06:07 PM

Medical staff attend to patients at a screening booth at the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina City on March 23, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The National People's Coalition (NPC) on Monday called for a "more inclusive" testing for COVID-19, saying unconfirmed carriers may have died without their contacts traced.

Three senators, including Senate President Vicente Sotto III, 42 House members and 8 governors affiliated with the NPC signed the party resolution, which was sent to Malcañang at around 9:30 a.m.

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force should "fast track the conduct of an effective, efficient, responsive and more inclusive mass testing of Filipinos for the SARS-CoV-2 virus," the party's resolution read.

"There were several instances where suspected COVID-19 patients died, even before knowing the results of the test whether they are COVID-19 positive... People who exhibited symptoms of the virus have died, without having been tested before they were cremated," it said.

The NPC also urged the DOH to allow the use of rapid test kits in accredited facilities nationwide and to "immediately conduct ocular inspections and examinations" of possible testing centers.

Among the lawmakers who signed the resolution was Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando, whose local government counterparts earlier complained about the DOH's slow accreditation of a COVID-19 testing center in his city.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Valenzuela Rep. Weslie Gatchalian also signed the resolution after their brother, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, decried the absence of testing for persons under monitoring, or those who came in contact with COVID-19 carriers.

Other NPC members who backed the resolution are:

SENATORS
Senate President Vicente Sotto III
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian
Sen. Lito Lapid

GOVERNORS
Aurora Gov. Eugenio Noveras
Camiguin Gov. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo
Davao Oriental Gov. Claude Bautista
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Lacson
Pampanga Gov. Dennis Pineda
Rizal Gov. Rebecca Ynares
Sorsogon Goc. Chiz Escudero
Tarlac Gov. Susan Yap

HOUSE MEMBERS

LUZON
Apayao Re. Elias Balut Jr.
Bacolod City Rep. Greg Gasataya
Batanes Rep. Ciriaco Gato Jr.
Camarines Sur Rep. Marissa Lourdes Andaya
Camarines Sur Rep. Arnulf Fuentebella
Cavite Rep. Dahlia Loyola
Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao
Ilocos Sur Rep. Kristine Meehan
Isabela Rep. Faustino Michael Dy
La Union Rep. Pablo Ortega
Makati Rep. Luis Campos
Malabon City Rep. Josephine Lacson Noel
Manila Rep. Manuel Luis Lopez
Manila Rep. Edward Maceda
Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando
Navotas City Rep. John Reynald Tiangco
Palawan Rep. Gil Acosta
Pangasinan Rep. Tyrone Agabas
Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo
Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga
Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan
Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo
Quezon City Rep. Allan Reyes
Rizal Rep. Jack Duavit
Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero
Sorsogon Rep. Bernardita Ramos 
Tarlac Rep. Charlie Cojuangco
Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap
Valenzuela City Rep. Weslie Gatchalian
Zambales Rep. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla

VISAYAS
Aklan Rep. Carlito Marquez
Antique Rep. Loren Legarda
Bohol Rep. Enrico Aris Aumentado
Cebu Rep. Peter John Calderon
Negros Occidental Rep. Genaro Alvarez Jr.
Negros Occidental Rep. Gerardo Valmayor Jr.
Negros Oriental Rep. Chiquiting Sagarbarria
Siquijor Rep. Jake Vincent Villa

MINDANAO
Davao Occidental Rep. Lorna Bautista Bandigan
Lanao del Norte Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo
Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe
Zamboanga City Rep. Cesar Gimenez Jr.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles earlier said that persons under monitoring would also be included in the government's mass testing program.

As of last week, the Philippines has tested at least 42,000 individuals for COVID-19.