Marikina to begin COVID-19 testing sans DOH approval

Ratziel San Juan - Philstar.com
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

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.








As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

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.

March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

A labor group says another lockdown will never resolve rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines after the government announced that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under the enhanced community quarantine starting Monday.

“The Duterte government seems to be deliberate in focusing its efforts in imposing quarantine and lockdown measures instead of addressing the rising cases of COVID-19 and the worsening state of the pandemic through medical solutions and scientific approach,” says Defend Jobs Philippines.



March 27, 2021 - 7:06pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the implementation of enhanced community quarantine is meant to slow down the increase of COVID-19 cases, so hospitals and health workers will not be overwhelmed.

March 27, 2021 - 6:37pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announces that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under enhanced community quarantine starting Monday, March 29.

January 19, 2021 - 6:04pm

Tuguegarao City will be placed under enhanced community quarantine from January 20 to 29 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba approved the request of Tuguegarao Mayor Jefferson Soriano to place the city under ECQ for 10 days.

According to the Cagayan Provincial Information Office, the city currently has 246 active cases.


Posted by Cagayan Provincial Information Office on Tuesday, 19 January 2021
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

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