Press Release
March 24, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 748:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Mass Testing Now PH Petition

I commend the Mass Testing Now PH group for its initiative. I join their call for a national mass testing program that prioritizes: (a) health workers or frontliners; (b) PUIs and PUMs; and (c) vulnerable sectors like the elderly and those with underlying illnesses.

Urgent and appropriate action is imperative in the race against time to address this pandemic. Mandatory mass testing will save lives. Thus, this should be paramount in our government's battle plan.

PUIs are dying even before they can be tested. This should not be the case. This should never be the case. COVID-19 maybe new and aggressive, but it can be defeated by a collective political and social commitment. Political will ang kailangan lalo na sa gitna ng ganitong uri ng krisis.

With the steady rise in the number of cases in our country, procurement of test kits should be prioritized. With still a limited number of test kits, symptomatic PUIs should be top priority. As soon as we have the test kits in massive quantity, both procured and donated from foreign sources, focused and organized testing should begin immediately in highly-populated or high density areas, especially those with widespread poverty. The most vulnerable members of our society should be protected at all cost. We are in the brink of an outbreak. Walang panahon upang magpatumpik-tumpik pa!

Puwede tayong humalaw sa karanasan ng Marikina LGU sa pagtatayo ng kanilang sariling molecular biology laboratory. Ang mga ganitong inisyatiba ng mga lokal na pamahalaan ay makakatulong upang higit pang mabigyan ng tibay ang ating panawagan.

My office joins various sectors in constantly and persistently demanding from government decisive responses to the crisis and for accountability.

Lubos ang aking paghanga sa mga youth health advocates na bumubuo ng Mass Testing Now PH na buong-pusong naglilingkod sa ating bayan, anumang panganib ang haharapin.

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