Colmenares: Gov't must provide free, quick COVID tests
Colmenares: Gov't must provide free, quick COVID tests
Colmenares: Gov't must provide free, quick COVID tests
by John Dexter Tilo04 January 2022
Photo courtesy of Neri Colmenares's Facebook page.

Senatorial aspirant and Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares on Monday called on the government to provide free COVID-19 testing in the wake of increasing cases across the country.

According to Colmenares, implementing restrictions will only be effective if testing capacity is increased "drastically."

He said that the current tests held in the country "only amount to less than half" of the recommended 120,000 tests required by health experts.

"[The] government must provide free and quick RT-PCR tests for those with COVID-19 symptoms and those exposed to positive cases," he said in a series of tweets.


The Bayan Muna chair added that "working hotlines" for symptomatic and exposed individuals must also be provided so they can get directions on what to do.

"Local government units and national health agencies should ensure working hotlines where symptomatic and exposed individuals can call to get a free test and advice on quarantine protocols," he said.

For workplaces, RT-PCR or antigen testing must also be conducted among employees every 14 days, with positive cases to be provided with financial support.

"These tests can be fully subsidized by the government or partially shouldered by the employers to ensure compliance," he said.


"Should any worker test positive, the government must ensure that they are provided proper isolation facilities and financial and material support during the quarantine period so they need not worry about their families."

Colmenares stressed that proper policies must be in place to address COVID-19 cases, and so workers are given the assurance that they are not left behind.

"Kayang-kaya natin matugunan ang COVID-19, basta mayroong maayos na polisiya na magtitiyak sa kaligtasan ng bawat Pilipino. Kailangan maibigay ang kumpiyansa sa bawat manggagawa na hindi sila pababayaan kung sila ay magkasakit."

(We can respond to COVID-19 as long as there are proper policies that will ensure the safety of Filipinos. We need to give workers assurance that they will not be abandoned when they get sick.)

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