Mayor Marcy Pushes Operation of Lab, Offers Marikeños COVID-19 Testing
by Famela Dahonog
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Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro frowned the national government’s refusal to authorize the City’s own Molecular Laboratory, amidst the rising cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
Mayor Marcy, on Monday, March 23, urged the Department of Health (DOH) to allow the operation of the City’s molecular laboratory, which can perform COVID-19 testing to Marikina residents.
Even before the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the country, the Local Government of Marikina had already announced that it is setting up its own molecular laboratory and procured test kits developed by local scientists from the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health (UPNIH) and backed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, the DOH had yet to certify the local laboratory and only assessed its capabilities yesterday despite the urgency in the country’s health situation.
"It is imperative for the DOH to be proactive to the initiative of the LGU in efforts to combat the threats of COVID-19, and not merely invoke regulations to follow and comply with as well as issue guidelines," said Mayor Marcy in an interview over DZMM.
The City’s chief asked the DOH not to treat Marikina City like a client applying for a license to operate. He insists that it should be a partnership where the national and local governments work together to form a system or network of health service delivery to better serve Filipinos in times of crisis such as this.
“DOH should not treat Marikina as a client applying for a license to operate a laboratory like this, kundi it should be a partnership. This is a whole of government approach kung saan nagtutulong-tulong ang lokal at national. Kung ano ang kakulangan sa national ay pinupunan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan,” said Mayor Marcy.
The molecular laboratory in Marikina, which was built in partnership with Manila Health Tek Inc., has a Polymerase Chain Reaction machine that can screen the COVID-19 testing kits, will be the first highly-equipped facility initiated by a local government in Metro Manila.
The facility in Marikina and the locally-made testing kits will provide greater access not only to Marikeños but to other residents of neighboring cities as well, especially the underprivileged amid the growing number of patients who tested positive, under investigation, and monitoring.
"Rizal, nearby cities, puwede. We are targeting 3-4 additional cities na magbebenefit dito sa Marikina Testing Center,” said Mayor Marcy.
The Local Government of Marikina opens the door of its laboratory to other nearby cities so that they can also benefit from the services being offered.
Mayor Marcy and Dr. Imelda Mateo of the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center (ARMMC) assures the public that the testing center meets all standards and protocols set by the DOH and World Health Organization (WHO).
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