Marikina to begin COVID-19 testing sans DOH approval
Marikina City prepares its own testing center that will help hospitals in the city check persons who exhibit symptoms of the coronavirus disease.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos

Marikina to begin COVID-19 testing sans DOH approval

Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - April 14, 2020 - 12:55pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Marikina City government on Tuesday announced that it is set to open a local COVID-19 testing center even without Department of Health accreditation to address the public health emergency immediately.

Marikina Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro, citing the law, invoked local autonomy and said that they are willing to face legal action from the Health department if necessary. The city will operate its local testing center on Friday.

“Willing kami kung anumang legal case o meron silang kaso na ibibigay samin (We are willing to confront a legal case or any case they’ll have against us). But we will, at this point, invoke our local autonomy and health services to the whole function,” Teodoro told reporters Tuesday.

Section 16 (General Welfare) of the Local Government Code states:

“Every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied there from, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.”

Among the functions that local governments are required to ensure and support in their respective territorial jurisdictions under the said provision is to “promote health and safety.”

“We could exercise the necessary incidental and appropriate powers in order to promote to ensure effective governance in the promotion of public health,” Teodoro said.

“At hinihingi rin ito sa Proclamation 922 na pupuwede naming i-manage (This is also what Proclamation 922 demands, that we manage) effectively and efficiently all the resources we have, exercise all the authorities necessary in order to effectively combat the spread of coronavirus.”

The State of Public Health Emergency declaration, as stated under Proclamation 922, “would capacitate government agencies and LGUs to immediately act to prevent loss of life, utilize appropriate resources to implement urgent and critical measures to contain or prevent the spread of COVID-19, mitigate its effects and impact tot he community, and prevent serious disruption of the functioning of the government and the community."

As of Monday afternoon, Marikina has seen a total of 59 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the city’s public information office.



Teodoro said that the Health department failed to assess its new testing facility despite multiple attempts to coordinate with them.

“The DOH has been contacted several times by the city government for it to check the new facility, but its team did not arrive.”

On Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte said he "will take the risk" and ordered the "immediate" purchase of rapid test kits for the new coronavirus.

The DOH earlier warned that rapid test kits can produce false positive and false negative.

The country's Food and Drug Administration earlier said trained health professionals should evaluate and interpret the results of rapid test kits.

"We have to be very cautious is using these rapid test kits because they measure antibodies and not the viral load itself. The body takes time to develop antibodies and this might give a negative result for patients who have been infected but bodies have not yet developed antibodies," FDA Director General Eric Domingo earlier said.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DOH MARCELINO ‘MARCY’ TEODORO MARCY TEODORO MARIKINA MARIKINA CITY NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 29, 2020 - 7:51pm

Photo shows members of the Philippine National Police deployed in Manila amid COVID-19 threat. The STAR/Edd Gumban

President Rodrigo Duterte on March 16, 2020 declares an enhanced community quarantine over all of mainland Luzon, an expansion of an earlier general community quarantine over the National Capital Region.

The entire National Capital Region—16 cities and a municipality—is under community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, which means the enforcement of social distancing measures like letting fewer people on public transportation, reduced store hours, and the possibiity of curfews.

According to a memorandum issued by the Palace on Saturday, March 14, the quarantine means that "movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work; and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points."

Travel restrictions in and out of the capital will also be implemented.

April 29, 2020 - 7:51pm

Batangas, one of the provinces hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, has reported no new cases of the disease for two consecutive days.

The provincial DOH Office says the number of COVID-19 cases in the province stood at 91 with no new cases as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lipa City has the most cases with 26, followed by Batangas City (21) and Nasugbu (11).

Tanauan City has the fourth most cases with eight, followed by Bauan (5) and Alitagtag (3). Cuenca and Sto. Tomas City had two cases each, while the municipalities of Calaca, Lemery, Lian, Lobo, Mabini, Mataas na Kahoy, Padre Garcia, San Jose, San Juan, San Pascual and Taal had one case each, respectively. — The Filipino Connection

April 29, 2020 - 5:39pm

Quezon City's Task Force Disiplina has been instructed to withdraw its complaint against Michael Rubuia whom city "enforcers" were caught on video beating with sticks over alleged quarantine violations.

The QC government says in the same statement that the enforcers of Task Force Disiplina have been issued show-cause orders for their actions. They may also be put on preventive suspension.

It also says Ruguia will be released to the city's drug rehabilitation center "in view of his positive drug test."

A police report on the April 27 incident did not mention the beating by task force personnel nor that he Ruguia had tested positive for drugs.

More on that incident here: QC to investigate 'local authorities' caught on video beating man lacking face mask

April 28, 2020 - 10:26pm

A 72-year-old Person Deprived of Liberty at the Correctional Institution for Women-Mandaluyong who had tested positive for COVID-19 died on Monday, the Bureau of Corrections says Tuesday.

She was the first confirmed COVID-19 case at the correctional facility and had been hospitalized on April 13 "after experiencing pneumonia symptoms," BuCor says.

"It can be recalled that her admission to the hospital triggered the contact tracing and isolation of those PDL that had contact with her days before she was brought to the hospital," BuCor also says.

Of 130 PDLs tested, 47 have been confirmed to have COVID-19.

A CIW PDL who had been admitted to East Avenue Medical Center on April 13 and who died on April 21 has also been confirmed to have had COVID-19. The results of the test, done on April 14, were only released on Monday.

April 27, 2020 - 2:59pm

Two new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in Lipa City on Monday even as the total recoveries jumped to five out of the 26 confirmed cases so far, the Lipa City government said.

Mayor Eric Africa announced that two male patients, ages 78 and 27 years old, tested positive for the virus, raising the city’s total infections to 26 – the most in Batangas province. The Filipino Connection

April 26, 2020 - 3:10pm

Community farms could be a "short cut" to meeting the country's food needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Caritas Philippines says, citing community farming projects that the Catholic Church in the Philippines is helping.

"The social amelioration program is not efficiently solving our food security problem however we see it as a necessary short-cut solution," Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national director of Caritas Philippines says

"Thus we at NASSA/Caritas Philippines strongly urge our government, especially the Department of Agriculture to start mobilizing farmers at the community level while we still have time."

The Department of Agriculture has said urban and community farming is among its strategies toward food security during the pandemic.

Bagaforo says "our community farms are helping deliver fresh vegetables to families severely affected by work suspension in Iligan, Bayombong and Camarines Sur, while a local farmers' cooperative supported by the diocese of Libmanan in Camarines Norte and the Gratia Plena program of the Diocese of San Jose in Nueva Ecija are supplying thousands of sacks of commercial and organic rice to Luzon provinces."

Backyard gardening programs in Iloilo, Bukidnon, Quezon, Leyte, the Samar provinces, Capiz, Oriental Mindoro and Zambales have also helped ensure food security for farming families, he says.

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