Garin expects Duterte to make COVID-19 testing free

Iloilo 1st District Representative Janette Garin on Monday, July 26 expressed hope President Duterte will move to make COVID-19 testing free or at least affordable for the people.

Garin, a former health secretary, aired her expectation as Duterte addresses the nation in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"I would like to hear his plans on improving our COVID-19 response, especially now that we have local transmission of the highly transmissible Delta variant," Garin said in a statement.

"I hope he decides to make COVID-19 testing free or at least, lower and standardize the prices," she further said.

Garin said it would be difficult for the nation to move forward against COVID-19 if testing remains expensive.

"Naniniwala akong kayang gawin ito ng gobyerno (I believe the government can do it)," she stressed.

The lawmaker also urged the Duterte government to provide financial assistance to COVID-19 patients who are breadwinners in their family.

She pointed out this is usually the plight of some patients who tested positive of COVID who live in far-flung areas and in provinces.

"This is something we need to address. Hindi lamang delatang ayuda ang sagot dito (Canned goods are not enough). With PRRD's (Duterte) political will, sana naman ay mangyari ang mga ito (I hope this happens)," she said.

"Maganda na sa kanyang huling taon ng panunungkulan ay maisaayos ni Pangulong Duterte ang mga plano at kahandaan ng pampublikong kalusugan at ng ating ekonomiya para sa hinaharap (It's would be good to see Duterte successfully plan and prepare the country's public health and our economy for the future in the last year of his presidential term)," she further said.