Cebu News

“Tuob” kits under probe

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Alicia Ivy L. Chua - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said he will investigate how the city ended up buying steam inhalation or “tuob” kits worth P2.5 million, considering that he and the City Council did not authorize the purchase.

With the P2.5 million, the city acquired 1,000 kits at P2,500 each and distributed the same to some barangay isolation centers (BIC) where asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are housed.

Each kit came with one electric water heater/steamer, a steam gown, an industrial plastic chair, an adult bath towel, two hand towels, and a water basin.

Labella said that he did not receive any purchase request for the kits.

“I have no knowledge about it. It is P2.5 million and I have never authorized the purchase and received any purchase request,” he said.

“I’m going to look into it but I was told that it is the initiative of Councilor Guardo, so I will have to look into that,” Labella added.

Councilor Alvin Dizon also said the Council did not authorize the purchase.

“I don’t have anything for or against tuob but spending public funds for it is ridiculous. Anyone can do tuob without the kit. Besides, the City Council did not authorize Councilor Guardo to purchase 1000 tuob kits worth P2.5M. The money should have been used to buy healthy food and vitamins to boost the immune system of our city constituents against the virus,” Dizon said.

In a message to The Freeman yesterday, Guardo said the purchase was made by the executive department and the resolution passed at the Council only requested to study the benefits of steam inhalation.

"As councilor, kutob ra man jud mi legislation - pagpasar ug resolution ug pagpanday ug balaud. As to the mode of acquisition, ilaha na na sa executive,” he said.

(As councilor, we’re limited to passing of resolutions and crafting of laws. The mode of acquisition is up to the executive.)

But as an advocate of the therapy, he reportedly took it upon himself to check the isolation centers if those doing steam inhalation were doing it properly.

Earlier, Guardo belied allegations he sold the kits and said the patients at the BICs received them for free.

He said the city recorded more recoveries 14 days after the kits were distributed.

“Wa ko ni-claim nga ang tuob gyud ang nakaayo nila pero nakaingon ko nga nakatabang gyud ang tuob kit nila,” Guardo said.

(I’m not claiming that the tuob cured them but I can say that the kit helped them.)

Medical groups and even the Department of Health (DOH) have said that there is no scientific evidence that steam inhalation therapy kills the COVID-19 virus.  JMO (FREEMAN)

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